Thurka Sangaramoorthy

Professor, Department of Anthropology

Dr. Thurka Sangaramoorthy is a cultural and medical anthropologist and global health expert with 23 years of experience conducting community-engaged ethnographic research, including rapid assessments, among vulnerable populations in the United States, Africa, and Latin America/Caribbean. Her work is broadly concerned with power and subjectivity in global economies of care. She has worked at this intersection on diverse topics, including global health and migration, infectious disease outbreaks, and environmental health disparities.

She is the author of numerous publications including three books: Landscapes of Care: Immigration and Health in Rural America (University of North Carolina Press, 2023), Rapid Ethnographic Assessments: A Practical Approach and Toolkit for Collaborative Community Research (with Karen Kroeger, Routledge, 2020) and Treating AIDS: Politics of Difference, Paradox of Prevention (Rutgers, 2014), and has one book in press based on her award-winning work: She’s Positive: The Extraordinary Lives of Black Women Living with HIV (Aevo, 2023). Her writing also has been featured in The Chronicle of Higher Education, Inside Higher Ed, Newsweek, and The Washington Post.

Dr. Sangaramoorthy is Co-Chair of the American Anthropological Association’s Members Programmatic Advisory and Advocacy Committee and a Board member of the Society for Medical Anthropology. She serves as Associate Editor of Public Health Reports, Editorial Board Member of American Anthropologist and Social Science & Medicine, and the inaugural Social, Behavioral, and Qualitative Research Section Editor for PLOS Global Public Health.

She received her Ph.D. from the University of California, Berkeley, and San Francisco, her M.P.H. from Columbia University, and her postdoctoral training in infectious diseases at the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Dr. Sangaramoorthy is Professor of Anthropology at American University and Affiliate Professor of Social Anthropology at Addis Ababa University in Ethiopia.

Current Projects

• Research Employing Environmental Systems and Occupational Health Policy Analyses to Interrupt the Impact of Structural Racism on Agricultural Workers and Their Respiratory Health (RESPIRAR)

• Consultancy for the Department of State’s Bureau of Population, Refugees, and Migration Horn of Africa Team

  Global Health Graduate Certificate Program; Ethnography Lab


Affiliate Professor, Addis Ababa University