Ruth Jane Prince

Image of Ruth Jane Prince
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Visiting address Kirkeveien 166 Fredrik Holsts hus 0450 OSLO
Postal address Postboks 1130 Blindern 0318 OSLO

Academic Interests

social protection and welfare in the Global South; anthropology of the state and bureaucracy; citizenship; biopolitics and humanitarianism; post-colonial studies; medical anthropology; critical global health; postcolonial science; toxicology and toxic exposures; waste; historical  ethnography; temporality and materiality; Africa

Higher education and employment history

Ruth Prince is associate professor in medical anthropology at the Institute of Health and Society. She trained as an anthropologist at the universities of Copenhagen, UCL, and Oxford. Before taking up her current position she was Senior Research Associate at the Department of Social Anthropology, University of Cambridge. Prior positions include a Mellon fellowship in "Science, medicine and society in Africa" held at the the History & Philosophy of Science department and the Centre of African Studies, University of Cambridge, and an ESRC and Smuts postdoctoral fellowship at the University of Cambridge. 

In August 2017, Ruth Prince was awarded an ERC Starting Grant (panel SH5) for a project titled "Universal Health Coverage and the Public Good in Africa". This anthropological study will explore experiments with new models of social protection and welfare in Africa by conducting ethnographic research within state bureaucracies, healthcare institutions, and citizenship groups. The project will begin in 2018. 

Prince´s most recent research, funded by a Norwegian Research Council FRISAM fellowship and titled "Local Medical Practice and Global Health Interventions", was an ethnographic study of the moral dilemmas and struggles facing medical professionals working in Kenyan public hospitals in contexts of material scarcity, growing inequality and the privatization of health care (see publications). 

Her publications include a monograph titled 'The Land is Dying: Contingency, Creativity and Conflict in western Kenya', written with Wenzel Geissler, which was co-winner of the Royal Anthropological Institute’s 2010 Amuary Talbot Prize for best book in African Anthropology.

Other publications include "Making and Unmaking Public Health in Africa: Ethnographic and Historical Perspectives" (Ohio University Press, 2013, edited with Rebecca Marsland); "Vounteer Economies: the Politics and Ethics of Volunteer Labour in Africa" (2016, James Currey), edited with Hannah Brown; a special issue on "Volunteer Labour" in African Studies Review (2015); and a special issue in Visual Anthropology on "Medicine, Photography and Anthropology", with Christos Lysteris (2016); and a Medical Anthropology Quarterly special issue titled "What is Life Worth? Exploring biomedical interventions, survival, and the politics of life" (2012).

Recent Research:

1) Pursuing the Public Good? Critical Perspectives from a Kenyan Hospital: This ethnographic study explores struggles over public health-care in Kenya and the moral and ethical engagements and disengagements of doctors and nurses working in contexts of inequality and scarce resources. (Norwegian Research Council, FRISAM fellowship, "Global Health Interventions and Local Medical Practice in Kenya", 2013-2016).

2) Developmental modernism in the east African city: Soviet medical aid to Kenya and its afterlives in the memories of medical doctors trained in the Soviet Union, and in architecture and urban planning.

Earlier research:

“Humanitarian interventions and moral economies of care”: Research in urban Kenya explored forms of claim-making taking shape around humanitarian and global health interventions;  how an emerging 'biopolitics' of HIV intersected with hunger, poverty and inequality, as well as with local moral economies of care. (Mellon Foundation, Smuts fund, University of Cambridge, and Max Planck institute for Social Anthropology) (2008-2011).

“Volunteer economies, urban youth and the east African city”; funded by the Wellcome Trust as part of collaborative project pilot grant on “Street-level health workers in African cities” (2011-12)

 

Teaching

Honoraria

  • The Royal Anthropological Institute’s Amuary Talbot Prize for best book in African Anthropology, 2010. Awarded to "The Land is Dying Contingency, Creativity and Conflict in western Kenya" by PW Geissler & RJ Prince
  • Winner of the RAI's Documentary Film Student Prize 2003.  For "Adhiambo - Born in the Evening. Two Months in the Life of a Kenyan Mother and her Newborn Daughter". Prince, RJ, Geissler PW, Tuchtenhagen G., Neubert-Maric, M. 2002. (Digital Video Film, 68 min.). Copenhagen, Hamburg and Cambridge: Filmwerkstatt Dokumentarisch Arbeiten (Distr. Royal Anthropological Institute).

Research grants and appointments

  • European Research Council, StG (SH5) (2018-)
  • Norwegian Research Council FRISAM fellowship (2013-6)
  • Senior Research Associate, Department of Social Anthropology, University of Cambridge
  • Mellon Fellow, University of Cambridge, 2010-12 (History and Philosophy of Science and Centre of African Studies)
  • Smuts Research Fellow, Centre of African Studies, University of Cambridge, 2007-10
  • ESRC Postdoctoral fellow, Department of Social Anthropology, University of Cambridge, 2007-8

Cooperation

  • Co-investigator, Wellcome Trust collaborative pilot grant for “Street Level health workers and the African city”(with the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine) 2010
  • British Academy Visiting Scholars International Engagement grant, 2011 (Dr Benson Mulemi,Catholic University of East Africa)
  • Collaborator on “Global Social Inequality and the Anthropology of Uncertainty, Contingency and Future Orientation”. Norges Forskningsråd (the Norwegian Research Council), Prosjektnummer 222821, ISP-sammfunnsvitenskap (with University of Trondheim).2013-15
Tags: Social protection, Welfare, Anthropology of the state, Bureaucracy, Citizenship, Biopolitics, Humanitarianism, Medical Anthropology, Development, Historical anthropology, Temporality, Critical Global Health, Toxicology, Waste economies, Postcolonial Science, Postcolonial history

Publications

BOOKS

2010      Geissler, PW & RJ Prince 2010. ‘The Land is Dying’: Contingency, Creativity and Conflict in Western Kenya. Oxford: Berghahn books.

*Co-winner of the Royal Anthropological Institute's 2010 Amaury Talbot Prize for best book in African Anthropology

 

SPECIAL ISSUES & EDITED BOOKS

2016 (April).  Prince, Ruth J. and Hannah Brown (eds.). Volunteer Economies: The Politics and Ethics of Voluntary Labour in Africa. Oxford: James Currey.

2015. Brown, H. & R. Prince (eds). Special issue on Voluntary Labour in East Africa. African Studies Review 58 (2) (September 2015)

2013      Prince, RJ & R. Marsland (eds.) Making and Unmaking Public Health in Africa. Ethnographic Perspectives. Athens: Ohio University Press

http://www.ohioswallow.com/extras/9780821420577_toc_and_introduction.pdf

http://www.ohioswallow.com/book/Making+and+Unmaking+Public+Health+in+Africa

2012      R. Marsland & R.J. Prince (eds.) What is Life Worth? Exploring Biomedical Interventions, Survival and the Politics of Life (Special issue for Medical Anthropology Quarterly vol 26(4) (December 2012).

2009      Prince, RJ., van Dijk, R. & Denis, P. (eds.). Christianity and HIV/AIDS in Africa. Special Issue, Africa Today 56(1).

 

ARTICLES & BOOK CHAPTERS

2015:

Prince, Ruth J, (2015). Seeking Incorporation? Voluntary labor and the ambiguities of work, identity, and social value in contemporary Kenya. African Studies Review 58(2), s 85- 109.  ISSN 0002-0206. . doi: 10.1017/asr.2015.39

Brown, Hannah & Prince, Ruth J. (2015). Volunteer labor: Pasts and futures of work, development, and citizenship in East Africa. African Studies Review. 8(2) 29- 42. ISSN 0002-0206.  doi: 10.1017/asr.2015.36

2014:  

Prince RJ. Precarious Projects: Conversions of Biomedical Knowledge in an East African City. Medical Anthropology 33(1): 68-83.

Open access article, available at

http://www.tandfonline.com/doi/full/10.1080/01459740.2013.833918

Prince RJ and P.Otieno. In the Shadowlands of Global Health: Observations from Health Workers in Kenya. Global Public Health 9 (8):927-945.

Open access article, available at

http://www.tandfonline.com/doi/full/10.1080/17441692.2014.941897#.VBgi9XY4VaQ

2013:

Prince RJ. Introduction: Situating Health and the Public in Africa. In R. Prince & R. Marsland (eds.) Making and Unmaking Public Health in Africa: Ethnographic and Historical Perspectives. Athens: Ohio University Press.

Prince, RJ.  Navigating Global Health in an East African City. In Making and Unmaking Public Health in Africa: Ethnographic and Historical Perspectives, edited by RJ. Prince & R. Marsland, Athens: Ohio University Press.

Prince, RJ. Tarmacking” in the Millennium City: Spatial and Temporal Trajectories of “Empowerment” in Kenya. Africa, 83:582-605.

Open access article, available at

http://journals.cambridge.org/repo_A90EtdG9

Wenzel Geissler, Ann H. Kelly, John Manton, Ruth J. Prince and Noemi Tousignant. 2013. Introduction: Sustaining the Life of the Polis. Africa 83:531-538.

Open access article, available at

http://journals.cambridge.org/repo_A90awoLO

Madiega, PA, Jones, G, Prince, RJ, Geissler, PW. ‘She’s my Sister-in-law, my Visitor, my Friend’ – Experiences of Home Follow-up in Clinical HIV Research in Western Kenya. Developing World Bioethics 13(1): 21-30.

2012:

Prince, RJ. HIV and the Moral Economy of Survival in an East African City. Medical Anthropology Quarterly 26(4): 534-556. (December 2012).

Marsland, R & RJ Prince. Introduction: What is Life Worth? Exploring Biomedical Interventions, Survival and the Politics of Life (part of the special issue on ‘What is Life Worth’ for Medical Anthropology Quarterly 26(4): 453-469. (December 2012).

http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/maq.12006/abstract

http://ufdcimages.uflib.ufl.edu/IR/00/00/20/23/00001/Prince2012.pdf

Prince, RJ. The Politics and Anti-Politics of HIV: healthcare and welfare in contemporary Kenya. In R. Rottenburg. P.W.Geissler & J. Zenker (eds.) Rethinking Biomedicine and Governance in Africa: Contributions from Anthropology. Bielefeld: Transcript Verlag.

https://www.repository.cam.ac.uk/bitstream/handle/1810/244829/Politcs%26AntipoliticsOfHIV.BUC2028_Prince.pdf?sequence=1

2011          Prince, RJ. Public debates about ‘Luo widow inheritance’ in relation to Christianity, tradition and AIDS in western Kenya. In H. Englund (ed) Christianity and Public Culture in Africa. Athens: Ohio University Press.

2010          Geissler PW. & Prince, RJ. Purity is Danger: Ambiguities of touch around sickness and death in western Kenya. In: Morality, Hope and Grief. Anthropologies of AIDS in Africa. Luig U & H. Dilger (eds.). Oxford: Berghahn.

2010         Geissler PW & Prince RJ. Persons and relations in Luo plant medicines. In: Plants, health and healing. Explorations on the interface of medical anthropology and ethnobotany. Hsu, E & Harris, S (eds). Oxford: Berghahn.

2009        Geissler P.W. & Prince, RJ. Active Compounds and Atoms of Society: Plants, Bodies, Minds and Cultures in the Work of Kenyan Ethnobotanical Knowledge. Social Studies of Science 2009 39: 599-634.

http://sss.sagepub.com/content/39/4/599.abstract

2009     Prince, RJ. with R. van Dijk & P. Denis. Engaging Christianities: Negotiating HIV/AIDS, health and social relations in East and Southern Africa. Africa Today 56(1): v-xviii.

2009      Prince, RJ. Christian Salvation and Luo Tradition: Arguments of faith in a time of death in western Kenya. Pp 49-88, in Becker, F. & W. Geissler, eds. AIDS and Religious Practice in Africa. Leiden: Brill.

2008      Prince, RJ. Struggling for growth in western Kenya: Modernity, tradition, generation and gender. Pp 137-162, in Alber, E., S. van der Geest and S. R. Whyte, eds. Generations in Africa. Connections and Contrasts. Munster: Lit Verlag.

2008      Adhiambo, P., Chantler, T., Jones, G. & Prince, RJ. ‘Our son Obama’. The US presidential election in western Kenya. Anthropology Today 24(6):4-8.

2007      Prince RJ. Salvation and Tradition: configurations of faith in a time of death. Journal of Religion in Africa 37(1):84-115.

2007      Geissler PW & Prince RJ. Life Seen: Touch and Vision in the Making of Sex in Western Kenya. Journal of Eastern African Studies 1(1):123 – 149.

2007      Geissler PW & Prince, RJ. Christianity, Tradition, AIDS and pornography: knowing sex in western Kenya. In: On Knowing and Not Knowing in Anthropology. Littlewood, R (ed.) London: UCL Press.

2006      Prince RJ. Popular music and Luo youth in western Kenya: ambiguities of modernity, morality and gender relations in the era of AIDS. In: Christiansen, C, Utas, M & Vigh, HE (eds.) Navigating Youth, Generating Adulthood: Social Becoming in an African Context. Uppsala: Nordic Africa Institute.

2005      Geissler PW & Prince, RJ.. Mission, Ueberlieferung, AIDS und Pornographie: Die Entdeckung des Sex im westlichen Kenya. Sociologus 54 (2):101-143.

2004      Geissler PW & Prince, RJ.. Shared lives: Exploring practices of amity between grandmothers and grandchildren in western Kenya. Africa 74(1):95-120.

  • Geissler, Paul Wenzel & Prince, Ruth Jane (2016). Kisumu: global health amnesia., In  Traces of the Future: An Archaeology of Medical Science in Twenty First Century Africa..  Intellect Ltd..  ISBN 978-1-78320-725-1.  Part 4.  s 209 - 213
  • Prince, Ruth Jane (2016). Public health and global interventions in Africa. Current history (1941).  ISSN 0011-3530.  115(781), s 163- 168
  • Prince, Ruth Jane (2016). The Diseased Body and the Global Subject: The Circulation and Consumption of an Iconic AIDS Photograph in East Africa. Visual Anthropology.  ISSN 0894-9468.  29(2), s 159- 186 . doi: 10.1080/08949468.2016.1131517
  • Brown, Hannah & Prince, Ruth Jane (2015). Introduction: volunteer labor-pasts and futures of work, development, and citizenship in East Africa. African Studies Review.  ISSN 0002-0206.  58(2), s 29- 42 . doi: 10.1017/asr.2015.36
  • Prince, Ruth Jane (2015). Seeking Incorporation? Voluntary labor and the ambiguities of work, identity, and social value in contemporary Kenya. African Studies Review.  ISSN 0002-0206.  58(2), s 85- 109 . doi: 10.1017/asr.2015.39
  • Prince, Ruth Jane (2014). Precarious Projects: Conversions of (Biomedical) Knowledge in an East African City. Medical Anthropology.  ISSN 0145-9740.  33(1), s 68- 83 . doi: 10.1080/01459740.2013.833918
  • Prince, Ruth Jane & Otieno, Phelgona (2014). In the Shadowlands of Global Health: Observations from Health Workers in Kenya.. Global Public Health.  ISSN 1744-1692.  9(8), s 927- 945 Full text in Research Archive
  • Geissler, Paul Wenzel; Kelly, Ann H; Manton, John; Prince, Ruth Jane & Tousignant, Noemi (2013). Introduction: Sustaining the Life of the Polis. Africa.  ISSN 0001-9720.  83(4), s 531- 538
  • Geissler, Paul Wenzel; Prince, Ruth Jane; Kelly, Ann H; Manton, J & Tousingnant, N (2013). Sustaining the life of the African Polis. Africa.  ISSN 0001-9720.  83(4), s 531- 538
  • Prince, Ruth Jane (2013). Navigating Global Health in an East African City, In Ruth Jane Prince & Rebecca Marsland (ed.),  Making and Unmaking Public Health in Africa: Ethnographic and Historical Perspectives.  Ohio University Press.  ISBN 978-0821420584.  Chapter 8.
  • Prince, Ruth Jane (2013). Situating Health and the Public in Africa, In Ruth Jane Prince & Rebecca Marsland (ed.),  Making and Unmaking Public Health in Africa: Ethnographic and Historical Perspectives.  Ohio University Press.  ISBN 978-0821420584.  Introduction to the book.
  • Prince, Ruth Jane (2013). 'Tarmacking' in the millennium city:spatial and temporal trajectories of empowerment and development in Kisumu, Kenya. Africa.  ISSN 0001-9720.  83(4), s 582- 605 . doi: 10.1017/S0001972013000478
  • Prince, Ruth Jane (2012). HIV and the Moral Economy of Survival in an East African City. Medical Anthropology Quarterly.  ISSN 0745-5194.  26(4), s 534- 556
  • Prince, Ruth Jane & Marsland, Rebecca (2012). What is Life Worth? Exploring Biomedical Interventions, Survival and the Politics of Life. Medical Anthropology Quarterly.  ISSN 0745-5194.  26(4), s 453- 469
  • Geissler, Paul Wenzel & Prince, Ruth Jane (2010). Persons, plants and relations: treating childhood illness in a western Kenyan village, In Elisabeth Hsu & Stephen Harris (ed.),  Plants, Health and Healing.On the Interface of Ethnobotany and Medical Anthropology.  Berghahn Books.  ISBN 978-1-84545-060-1.  Chapter 4.
  • Prince, Ruth Jane & Geissler, Paul Wenzel (2010). Purity is Danger: Ambiguities of Touch around Sickness and Death in Western Kenya, In Hansjörg Dilger & Ute Luig (ed.),  MORALITY, HOPE AND GRIEF. Anthropologies of AIDS in Africa.  Berghahn Books.  ISBN 978-1-84545-663-4.  Chapter 12.
  • Geissler, Paul Wenzel & Prince, Ruth Jane (2007). Christianity, tradition, AIDS, and pornography : knowing sex in western Kenya, In Roland Littlewood (ed.),  On Knowing and Not Knowing in the Anthropology of Medicine.  Left Coast Press Inc..  ISBN 978-1598742756.  Kapittel.  s 87 - 116
  • Geissler, Paul Wenzel & Prince, Ruth Jane (2004). Shared lives: Exploring practices of amity between grandmothers and grandchildren in western Kenya.. Africa.  ISSN 0001-9720.  74(1), s 95- 120
  • Geissler, Paul Wenzel; Prince, Ruth Jane; Harris, S; Olsen, A; Oketch, H; Nielsen, BS & Mølgård, P (2002). Medicinal plants used by Luo mothers in Bondo District, Kenya.. Journal of Ethnopharmacology.  ISSN 0378-8741.  83, s 39- 54
  • Geissler, Paul Wenzel; Prince, Ruth Jane; Meinert, L; Nokes, K & Ouma, JH (2001). Self–treatment practices among Kenyan and Ugandan children and the need for medicinal education in school health programs.. Health Policy and Planning.  ISSN 0268-1080.  16(4), s 361- 372
  • Grigorenko, EL; Geissler, Paul Wenzel; Prince, Ruth Jane; Okatcha, F; Nokes, K; Kenny, DA; Bundy, DAP & Sternberg, RJ (2001). The organisation of Luo conceptions of intelligence: a study of implicit theories in a Kenyan village.. International Journal of Behavioral Development.  ISSN 0165-0254.  25(4), s 367- 378
  • Prince, Ruth Jane; Geissler, Paul Wenzel; Nokes, K; Okatcha, F; Grigorenko, EL & Stenberg, RJ (2001). Knowledge of herbal and pharmaceutical medicines among Luo schoolchildren in western Kenya.. Anthropology & Medicine.  ISSN 1364-8470.  8(2/3), s 211- 135
  • Sternberg, R; Geissler, Paul Wenzel; Prince, Ruth Jane; Nokes, K; Grigorenko, E; Bundy, DAP & Okatcha, F (2001). The relationship between academic and practical intelligence: a case study in Kenya.. Intelligence.  ISSN 0160-2896.  29(5), s 401- 418
  • Geissler, Paul Wenzel; Prince, Ruth Jane; Aagaard-Hansen, J & Ouma, JH (2000). Kenyan schoolchildren’s self-treatment of common illnesses.. Social Science and Medicine.  ISSN 0277-9536.  50(18), s 1771- 1883
  • Prince, Ruth Jane; Geissler, Paul Wenzel; Levene, M; Mutemi, W; Beckerleg, S & Schulman, C (1999). Perceptions of soil eating and anaemia among pregnant Giriama women.. Social Science and Medicine.  ISSN 0277-9536.  48, s 1069- 1079
  • Prince, Ruth Jane; Luoba, A; Adhiambo, P; NG'Uono, J & Geissler, Paul Wenzel (1999). Soil-eating is common among rural women in western Kenya.. Transactions of the Royal Society for Tropixcal Medicine and Hygiene.  ISSN 0035-9203.  93, s 515- 516
  • Geissler, Paul Wenzel; Prince, Ruth Jane; Mutemi, W; Lowe, B; Friis, H & Schulman, C (1998). Geophagy and anaemia among pregnant women on the Kenyan coast. Transactions of the Royal Society for Tropixcal Medicine and Hygiene.  ISSN 0035-9203.  5(1), s 549- 553

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  • Prince, Ruth Jane & Marsland, Rebecca (ed.) (2013). Making and Unmaking Public Health in Africa: Ethnographic and Historical Perspectives. Ohio University Press.  ISBN 978-0-8214-2058-4.  260 s.
  • Prince, Ruth Jane & Geissler, P. Wenzel (2010). ‘The Land is Dying’: Contingency, Creativity and Conflict in Western Kenya. Berghahn Books.  ISBN 978-1-84545-481-4.  444 s.

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  • Lynteris, Christos & Prince, Ruth Jane (2016). Anthropology and Medical Photography: Ethnographic, Critical and Comparative Perspectives. Visual Anthropology.  ISSN 0894-9468.  29(2), s 101- 117 . doi: 10.1080/08949468.2016.1131104

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Published Sep. 11, 2014 10:39 AM - Last modified Oct. 16, 2017 12:43 PM