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CaféTheoria is an interactive, hybrid workshop series where renowned experts discuss core social science theories, and where you have the opportunity to engage your peers and colleagues in lively discussion and debate. In the final workshop of the academic year, various scholars reflect on their experiences of conducting long-term empirical research.

The workshop is aimed at postgraduate students (PGT) and doctoral scholars (PGR) in the School of Global Affairs. 

This workshop is being held in-person on the Strand campus. Refreshments (food, light beverages) will be provided.

About the speakers

Professor Sarah Hodges (she/her) is a Professor of Global Health and Social Medicine at King's. She currently runs the £1.5m Wellcome-funded Collaborative Award, ‘What’s at stake in the fake? Indian pharmaceuticals, African markets, and global health’ alongside co-investigators from the University of the Witwatersrand and the University of Amsterdam (2018-2024). Sarah uses ethnography and historical records to ask: what are the everyday lives of public health measures? To answer this question, she moves beyond medical anthropologists’ and historians’ conventional sites of inquiry: the clinic, the lab, the classroom, or the regulator’s office.

Instead, Sarah’s field sites have included dumpsters behind hospitals, pharmaceutical distributors’ warehouse parking lots, radical newspaper archives, and hotel lobbies. In one way or another, all her research is empirically rooted in Tamil-speaking south India. Before joining King’s in 2022, Sarah held positions at the University of Warwick, Cambridge University, SOAS, and was a visiting professor at Jawaharlal Nehru University. She holds an MA and PhD from the University of Chicago and a BA from Brown University.

Jo Krishnakumar (they/avar) is a facilitator, anthropologist and writer based at SOAS, University of London. They research care, activism and collective-making in sex workers’, trans and queer communities in India. Jo co-runs two independent projects- Almaarii, a visual ethnography of queer space in south Asia and Trans/form, a pedagogical tool to understand anti-trans violence in India. Jo also works with Mithra Trust, Chennai where they facilitate mental health spaces for queer-trans people from an intersection of psychology, narrative therapy and anthropology.

Dr Cristian Montenegro (he/him) is a health sociologist with a background in professional and academic work on mental health policy. He is especially interested in how social movements and political ideologies shape mental health policy across time. He has conducted qualitative research on mental health and human rights, psychiatric deinstitutionalisation and reform, service-user engagement, and co-production in mental health research, with a focus on Latin America.

He is a Senior Lecturer in Critical Global Health at King's, after being a Senior Research Fellow at the Wellcome Centre for Cultures and Environments of Health ( He is also an adjunct researcher at the Millennium Institute for Research on Depression and Personality (Chile) and a visiting professor at the Mental Health Programme of the School of Public Health, Universidad de Chile.

Dr Nickolas Surawy Stepney (he/him) is a Postdoctoral Research Associate on the project ‘Grid oncology: remaking cancer care in India’ (led by Professor Carlo Caduff) at King's. He completed his PhD in Anthropology at the Department of Global Health & Social Medicine in September 2022. Using ethnographic methodologies, his research examines the material and symbolic circulations of morphine in northwest India. 

About CaféTheoria

CaféTheoria is funded by the SSPP Faculty Education Fund. It is an interactive and innovative hybrid workshop series running in the 2023-2024 academic year. The project is led by Dr Shagufta Bhangu and Dr Rishita Nandagiri.

Poster of CafeTheoria workshops

At this event

Shagufta Bhangu

Lecturer in Global Health & Social Medicine (Bioethics & Society)

Rishita Nandagiri

Lecturer in Global Health & Social Medicine

Sarah Hodges

Professor of Global Health and Social Medicine

Nickolas Surawy  Stepney

Research Associate