Professor Sarah Hodges
Professor of Global Health and Social Medicine
Sarah 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).
Rather than examining the pharmacological properties of pharmaceuticals, ‘What’s at stake in the fake?’ researchers track and trace worries about fake drugs. In studying the everyday lives of suspicion, project researchers ask questions about suspicion’s material effects and about who benefits from suspicions about fake drugs.
The ‘What’s at stake in the fake?’ team's research is based in India, Kenya, South Africa, Switzerland, Tanzania, and Zimbabwe.
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.
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.
Sarah has honed her approach through a series of major projects:
- about the radical political life of women’s contraceptives in India under colonial rule
- the economic afterlives of used, discarded medical plastics
- the political economies of Indian pharmaceuticals at home and abroad.
In one way or another, all her research is empirically rooted in Tamil-speaking south India.
- The Politics of Life and Death (5SSHM010)