Biography

I joined the School of Medicine in 2017 after receiving a PhD in Anthropology from Brunel University. I teach medical sociology, medical anthropology, global health, and qualitative research methods to undergraduate medical students. Driven by critical inquiry, my teaching interrogates biomedicine as a cultural and political system alongside the processes socially constructing the meanings and experiences of gender, age, disability, and other identity categories. Carving a meaningful space for medical anthropology within the undergraduate medical curriculum aims to contribute to efforts in decolonizing medicine and to challenge hegemonic assumptions about health, illness, healing, and science. My doctoral research focused on social, cultural, and political aspects of sterilisation as part of women’s everyday lives in rural Rajasthan, India.

Qualifications

Ph.D. Anthropology (Brunel University), 2016
MSc Social Anthropology (University of Edinburgh), 2009
BA Political Science (Vilnius University), 2008

Research and scholarship

I am a medical anthropologist with a regional interest in India and South Asia and a fascination with politics in the clinic. Grounded in medical and political anthropology, my research and writing focus on care, chronicity, and power as they pertain to women’s reproductive lives in rural north India. Between 2011 and 2013, I conducted ethnographic fieldwork in rural Rajasthan, where chronic poverty and poor health intertwine with complex caste, class, and gender hierarchies. My research explores how women’s desires to end childbearing and the choice of a surgical intervention––sterilisation––fit within wider ideas surrounding gendered bodies, ideal families, local articulations of power, and structural violence of poverty and caste. Drawing together local forms of knowledge, social relations, and wider politics of population control, I investigate contemporary rural women’s experiences within and beyond state and biomedical institutions.

I am working on a book manuscript entitled ‘The Intimate State: Sterilisation in Rural North India’ (Berghahn Books) which investigates how women’s encounters with and within institutions reveal various ways in which violence, care, and chronicity become intertwined and often inseparable in their reproductive journeys. Women’s experiences of sterilisation become a window into their relationships with partners, children, neighbours, state functionaries, and health care institutions in contemporary rural India.

Research interests:

  • Medical anthropology
  • The politics of reproduction
  • Gender and health
  • Structural violence and health
  • Anthropology of biomedicine
  • Hospital ethnography
  • India

Teaching

I teach medical sociology, medical anthropology, global health, and qualitative research methods to undergraduate medical students.

Selected Publications

  • Lukšaitė E. 2022. "I Do Not Have to Hurt My Body Anymore": Reproductive Chronicity and Sterilization as Ambivalent Care in Rural North India. Med Anthropol Q. link> doi> full text>
  • Lukšaitė E. Documents that matter: Sterilization paperwork in rural India. Anthropology Today. full text>
  • Lukšaitė E, Fricker RA, McKinley RK, Dikomitis L. 2022. Conceptualising and Teaching Biomedical Uncertainty to Medical Students: an Exploratory Qualitative Study. Med Sci Educ, 371-378, vol. 32(2). link> doi> full text>
  • Lukšaitė E. 2021. "Everything in India Happens by Jugaad": Dai-mas in Institutions in Rural Rajasthan. Med Anthropol, 703-717, vol. 40(8). link> doi> full text>
  • Yeates P, Cope N, Luksaite E, Hassell A, Dikomitis L. 2019. Exploring differences in individual and group judgements in standard setting. Med Educ, 941-952, vol. 53(9). link> doi> full text>

Full Publications Listshow

Journal Articles

  • Lukšaitė E. 2022. "I Do Not Have to Hurt My Body Anymore": Reproductive Chronicity and Sterilization as Ambivalent Care in Rural North India. Med Anthropol Q. link> doi> full text>
  • Lukšaitė E. Documents that matter: Sterilization paperwork in rural India. Anthropology Today. full text>
  • Lukšaitė E, Fricker RA, McKinley RK, Dikomitis L. 2022. Conceptualising and Teaching Biomedical Uncertainty to Medical Students: an Exploratory Qualitative Study. Med Sci Educ, 371-378, vol. 32(2). link> doi> full text>
  • Lukšaitė E. 2021. "Everything in India Happens by Jugaad": Dai-mas in Institutions in Rural Rajasthan. Med Anthropol, 703-717, vol. 40(8). link> doi> full text>
  • Yeates P, Cope N, Luksaite E, Hassell A, Dikomitis L. 2019. Exploring differences in individual and group judgements in standard setting. Med Educ, 941-952, vol. 53(9). link> doi> full text>
  • Luksaite E. 2014. Boundaries undermined. The ruins of progress on the Bangladesh-India border by Hussain, Delwar. Book review. Social Anthropology, 240-242, vol. 22(2). doi>
  • Luksaite E. 2010. Constructing the diasporic body: ritual practices among South Asians in Britain. Asia Europe Journal, 11-24, vol. 8(1). doi>
  • Lukšaitė E. 2008. Tautinės valstybės diskurso paraštės: diasporos patirtys. Politologija, 33-61, vol. 52(4). doi> full text>

Fieldwork in photos

walking Image 1. A woman holds her infant in rural Rajasthan, India.
registration Image 2. Dai-mas (traditional midwives) bring women to give birth in a rural health care facility and receive a financial incentive from the government, Rajasthan, India
women-car Image 3. A post-partum woman, her newborn, kin, and dai-ma are ready to leave the rural health care facility in a government-run ambulance, Rajasthan, India.
case-card Image 4. A blank female sterilization case card issued to women who come for the tubal ligation procedure in sterilization camps in rural Rajasthan, India.

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