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Cecilia Van Hollen

Associate Professor, Anthropology

Cecilia_VanHollen Headshot

Contact Information
cvanholl@maxwell.syr.edu

331 Eggers Hall
(315) 443-5102
Curriculum Vitae
Cecilia Van Hollen CV

Affiliated Faculty Member, International Relations Program, Maxwell School
Affiliated Member, Center for South Asian Studies, Moynihan Institute of Global Affairs, Maxwell School
Affiliated Faculty Member, Department of Women’s & Gender Studies, Syracuse University

Degree

Ph.D., University of California, Berkeley and University of California, San Francisco, 1998

Specialties

Cultural anthropology, medical anthropology, global health, reproduction, HIV/AIDS, cancer, gender and sexuality, globalization, development, South Asia

Courses

ANT 185: Global Encounters: Comparing Worldviews and Values Cross-Culturally 

ANT 324: Modern South Asian Cultures

ANT 357: Health, Healing and Culture

ANT 400/600: Medicine and the Body in India

ANT 421/621: Gender and Sexuality in South Asia

ANT 462/662; WGS  462;  HTW  462: Culture and Reproductive Health and Medicine

ANT 465/665: Critical Issues in Medical Anthropology

ANT 625: Problems in South Asia Anthropology

ANT 711: Contemporary Anthropological Theory

Biography

 I am a cultural anthropologist, specializing in medical anthropology and South Asia Studies. My work focuses empirically on social and cultural dimensions of global and public health programs in India, and theoretically on globalization, development, and modernity; feminism and gender and sexuality studies; critical medical anthropology; and social inequality and power. By examining the influence of culture and political-economy on decision-making surrounding women’s health, my research aims to both expand the empirical and theoretical horizons of anthropology and South Asia Studies and to provide insights to policymakers working in global and public health.

Most of my research focuses on women's health, particularly reproductive health, HIV/AIDS, and cancer in the South Indian state of Tamil Nadu where I have linguistic expertise and deep roots, going back to my childhood. I have published two books and numerous articles based on my ethnographic research. My first book, Birth on the Threshold: Childbirth and Modernity in South India was published by the University of California Press in 2003 and received the Association for Asian Studies’ 2005 A.K. Coomaraswamy Book Prize for the best book in South Asia Studies. The book analyzes the impact of modernity and medicalization on the experiences and decision-making processes of lower class women during childbirth. My second book, Birth in the Age of AIDS: Women, Reproduction, and HIV/AIDS in India was published by Stanford University Press in 2013. It examines the impact of HIV/AIDS on the experiences of pregnancy, childbirth, and motherhood in India, focusing on local responses to global health programs to prevent mother-to-child transmission of HIV. My article, “Breast or Bottle? HIV-Positive Women's Responses to Global Health Policy on Infant Feeding in India” received the Steven Polgar Paper Prize from the Society for Medical Anthropology of the American Anthropological Association for the Best Paper Published in Medical Anthropology Quarterly in 2011-12.

I am currently engaged in a new ethnographic project on Living with Cancer at the Crossroads: Assessing risks and seeking cures for reproductive cancers in India. This research is a qualitative study of socio-cultural perspectives and responses to cervical and breast cancer screening and treatment programs for low-income communities in India. It explores variations in ideas about cancer causality and risk among counselors, healthcare providers, the general public, and cancer patients and survivors. The focus is on the ways in which relations of class, caste, and gender impact the experiences of women who have or have survived these reproductive cancers.     

Since 2010, I have also been engaged in an archival research project about Miron Winslow, an early 19th century American missionary in Jaffna, Ceylon and Madras, India who wrote the first comprehensive Tamil-English Dictionary, was the author a several books, and helped found prominent schools and colleges in South Asia.

My research has been supported by grants and fellowships from the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars, the Fulbright Foundation, the American Institute of Indian Studies, and the Woodrow Wilson Foundation. I received the 2016 Syracuse University Excellence in Graduate Education Faculty Recognition Award. In 2007 I received the Daniel Patrick Moynihan Award for outstanding teaching, research and service by an untenured Maxwell School faculty member, from the Maxwell School of Citizenship and Public Affairs at Syracuse University. I was awarded Phi Beta Kappa from Brown University in 1987.

I currently serve as a Trustee for the American Institute of Indian Studies and am on the Editorial Board of the Maternal and Child Health Journal. In 2015, I served as a consultant to Oxfam-India for their program on “South Asia Consultation on Maternal Health-Regional Dialogue and Way Forward.” From 2012-13 I was a Visiting Adjunct Associate Professor in the Asian Studies Program, at the Edmund A. Walsh School of Foreign Service, at Georgetown University. From 2010-2012 I served as the Director of the National Resource Center for South Asian Studies in the Moynihan Institute of Global Affairs at Syracuse University and as an Executive Committee member and Trustee of the South Asia Language Institute. 


 

Publications

BOOKS / MONOGRAPHS

Van Hollen, Cecilia
2013  Birth in the Age of AIDS: Women, Reproduction, and HIV/AIDS in India. Palo Alto: Stanford University Press. (274 pgs)

Van Hollen, Cecilia
2003  Birth on the Threshold: Childbirth & Modernity in South India. Berkeley: University of California Press. (295 pgs). [Also published by Zubaan, Delhi, India].

ARTICLES, CHAPTERS, AND FORMAL REPORTS

Van Hollen, Cecilia
(In Progress) Cancer and the Kali Yuga: the biopolitics of cancer causality in reproductive cancer screening in South India. (To be submitted to BioSocieties for Special Issue on Cancer and the South, to be edited by Carlo Caduff and Cecilia Van Hollen. Special Issue has been accepted).

  Van Hollen, Cecilia
(Forthcoming) Handle with Care: Rethinking the rights vs. culture dichotomy in cancer disclosure in India. Medical Anthropology Quarterly. (42 pgs. Manuscript accepted and published online on 7/18/2017; has been sent for typesetting) (Refereed)

  Van Hollen, Cecilia
(Forthcoming) May the Force be with You: An Indian homeopathic doctor’s approach to the gendered ills of our time. Chapter submitted for edited volume by Arima Mishra on Local Health Traditions: Pluralism and Marginality in South Asia. Invited Book to be published by Orient Blackswan (Delhi). (25 pgs. submitted on Feb. 6, 2017. This is a publisher-Invited edited volume that has been approved for publication). (Refereed)

  Van Hollen, Cecilia; Krishnan, Shweta; Rathnam, Shibani
(Forthcoming 2018)  “It’s Partly in Our Hands; It’s Partly in the Hands of the Goddess”: Cancer patients’ quest for well-being in India. Special Issue. Purushartha: Social Sciences in South Asia, Issue Number 36. (Journal of L’École des Hautes Études en Sciences Sociales, Paris). (35 pgs). (Refereed)

Van Hollen, Cecilia
2017  Feminist Critical Medical Anthropology Methodologies: Implications for understanding gender and healthcare in India. In Re-presenting Feminist Methodologies: Interdisciplinary Explorations. Kalpana Kannabiran and Padmini Swaminathan, eds. Pp. 330-348. NY: Routledge. [Reprint]

Van Hollen, Cecilia
2016  Feminist Critical Medical Anthropology Methodologies: Implications for understanding gender and healthcare in India. Special Issue. Economic and Political Weekly 51(18):72-79. 

Van Hollen, Cecilia
2016  Trump and the Establishment Boogeyman: What is “the establishment” and why was it scorned this election cycle? Anthropology News. Online, December 14, 2016 http://www.anthropology-news.org/index.php/2016/12/14/trump-and-the-establishment-boogeyman/

Sheoran, Nayatara; Deomampo, Daisy; Van Hollen, Cecilia
2015  Extending Theory, Rupturing Boundaries: Reproduction, Health, and Medicine Beyond North-South Binaries. Special Issue. Medical Anthropology 34(3):185-191.

Van Hollen, Cecilia
2011  Breast or Bottle? HIV-Positive Women's Responses to Global Health Policy on Infant Feeding in India. Medical Anthropology Quarterly 25(4):499-518.

Van Hollen, Cecilia
2011  Birth in the Age of AIDS: local responses to global policies and technologies in South India. In Reproduction, Globalization, and the State: New Theoretical and Ethnographic Perspectives. Carolyn Sargent and Carole Browner, eds. Pp. 83­-95. Durham: Duke University Press.

Van Hollen, Cecilia
2011  HIV/AIDS: Global Policies, Local Realities. In Companion to the Anthropology of India. Isabelle Clark-Deces, ed. Pp. 464-481. Sussex, UK: Wiley-Blackwell Publishers.

Van Hollen, Cecilia
2010  HIV/AIDS and the Gendering of Stigma in Tamil Nadu, South India. Culture, Medicine and Psychiatry 34(4):633-657.

Van Hollen, Cecilia
2007  Navigating HIV, Pregnancy, and Childbearing in South India: Pragmatics and Constraints in women's decision-making. Medical Anthropology 26(7): 7-52.

Van Hollen, Cecilia
2005  Nationalism, Transnationalism, and the Politics of “Traditional” Indian Medicine for HIV/AIDS. In Asian Medicine and Globalization. Joseph Alter, ed. Pp. 88-106. Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press.

Van Hollen, Cecilia
2003  Invoking Vali: Painful Technologies of Modern Birth in South India. Medical Anthropology Quarterly 17(1):49-77.

Van Hollen, Cecilia
2002  “Baby Friendly” Hospitals and Bad Mothers: Maneuvering Development in the Postpartum Period in Tamil Nadu, South India. In The Daughters of Hariti: Birth and Female Healers in South and Southeast Asia. Santi Rozario and Geoffrey Samuel, eds. Pp. 163-181. New York: Routledge.

Van Hollen, Cecilia
1998  Moving Targets: Routine IUD Insertions in Maternity Wards in Tamil Nadu, India. Reproductive Health Matters 6(11):98-106.

Van Hollen, Cecilia
1994  Perspectives on the Anthropology of Birth [A Review Article of Three Books]. Culture, Medicine and Psychiatry 18: 501-512. 

 

BLOGS

2015  Maternal Healthcare in South Asia as the MDGs Wind Down. Invited blog for the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS) Global Health Policy. May 15, 2015. http://www.smartglobalhealth.org/blog/entry/maternal-healthcare-in-south-asia-as-the-mdgs-wind-down/

2014  Reflections on the U.S. India Standoff on Generics. Invited blog for the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS) Global Health Policy. November 5, 2014. http://www.smartglobalhealth.org/blog/entry/reflections-on-the-u.s.-india-standoff-on-generics/

2014  Closing the Gap in India: How Shortages of Anti-retroviral Therapies Could Jeopardize India's Race to Eradicate AIDS. Invited blog for Stanford University Press on World AIDS Day. http://stanfordpress.typepad.com/blog/2014/12/closing-the-gap-in-india-1.html

 

Teaching Appointments

Associate Professor, Department of Anthropology, Syracuse University, August 2007–present.

Visiting Adjunct Associate Professor, Asian Studies Program, Edmund A. Walsh School of Foreign Service, Georgetown University, August 2012–May 2013.

Assistant Professor, Department of Anthropology, Syracuse University, August 2003-August 2007.

Assistant Professor, Department of Anthropology, University of Notre Dame, August 2000-August 2003.

 

Research Grants and Awards

Awards

Excellence in Graduate Education Faculty Recognition Award (2016) to a faculty member whose dedication to graduate students and commitment to excellence in graduate teaching and mentoring has made a significant contribution to graduate education at Syracuse University.

Steven Polgar Paper Prize (2012) from the Society for Medical Anthropology of the American Anthropological Association for the Best Paper Published in Medical Anthropology Quarterly in 2011-12.

Daniel Patrick Moynihan Award (2007) for outstanding teaching, research and service by an untenured Maxwell School faculty member, Maxwell School of Citizenship and Public Affairs, Syracuse University.

Ananda Kentish Coomaraswamy Book Prize (2005) from the Association for Asian Studies to Birth on the Threshold: Childbirth and Modernity in South India for Best Book in South Asian Studies published in 2003.

Phi Beta Kappa, Brown University (1987)

Magna Cum Laude, Brown University (1987)

Research Grants

Public Policy Fellow, Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars, Washington, D.C. for research on “Living with Cancer at the Crossroads: Assessing risks and seeking cures for reproductive cancers in India.” February—May, 2018, researcher in residence, Washington, D.C.

Office of Research Small Grant, Syracuse University. “Cancer Screening & Treatment in India: A Medical Anthropological Study.” 2015-16. 

American Institute of Indian Studies (AIIS) Senior Short Term Research Fellowship for research project on “Socio-cultural Perspectives and Responses to Cervical and Breast Cancer Screening and Treatment in Tamil Nadu, India.” Fellowship awarded in 2014 for 4 months of research conducted in 2015 and 2016.

Appleby-Mosher Fund Award, Maxwell School of Citizenship and Public Policy, Syracuse University. Summer research in India, 2005, 2009, 2010, 2012, 2014, 2015, 2016.

American Institute for Indian Studies (AIIS) Senior Short Term Fellowship. 1 month research in India, 2008.

Fulbright Scholar Program Research Award. 6 months research in India, 2004.

Institute for Scholarship in the Liberal Arts, University of Notre Dame. 1 month research in India, 2002-2003.

Woodrow Wilson Dissertation Grant in Women's Studies, 12 month write up grant, 1997-1998.

Fulbright Hayes Dissertation Research Abroad Fellowship, India. 12 months, 1995-1996.

 

Selected Professional Activities

 Trustee, American Institute for Indian Studies (AIIS), 2017-present; 2010-2012.

Member, Editorial Board of the Maternal and Child Health Journal, 2016-present.

Vice President, Phi Beta Kappa Chapter, Syracuse University, Spring 2015-present.

Director, National Resource Center for South Asian Studies, Moynihan Institute of Global Affairs, Maxwell School of Citizenship and Public Affairs, Syracuse University. August 2010 - August 2012.

Executive Committee Member and Trustee, South Asia Summer Language Institute (SASLI), 2010-2012.

Undergraduate Director, Department of Anthropology, Syracuse University. August 2006-August 2008.

Co-Director, Gender and Globalization Group. Moynihan Institute/Maxwell School, Syracuse University. 2005-2007.