Andrea Lilly Ford

Medical Anthropologist
Research Fellow at the
Center for Biomedicine, Self, and Society
at The University of Edinburgh

I am a medical and cultural anthropologist, currently a Research Fellow at the Centre for Biomedicine, Self, and Society at the University of Edinburgh. My work on health and disease lies at the intersection of reproductive and environmental justice. My research interests include reproduction, childbearing, endometriosis, menstruation, hormones, toxicity, environment, epistemology, the body, gender, and political economy. 


My book manuscript, Near Birth: Embodied Futures in California, investigates the culture surrounding childbirth in the California Bay Area. It pays particular attention to the construction of legitimate knowledge, as well as popular and activist imaginaries of utopian/dystopian futures, and embodied ecological concerns including environmental toxicity and the human microbiome.

Public engagement is integral to my scholarship, and I have worked with the Frameworks Institute in Washington, DC, which does research on how to communicate with the public about pressing social issues, have written 100+ public facing articles for Stanford Medicine's blog, and am a birth doula and reproductive justice advocate. 


I received my PhD in Anthropology from the University of Chicago in 2017, and served as a postdoctoral teaching fellow after that. I also hold an MA in Anthropology from the University of Chicago, an MA in African Studies from the University of Ghana, and an interdisciplinary BA in Anthropology, Sociology, and Religious Studies from the University of California, Berkeley. I have conducted ethnographic fieldwork in Scotland, California, and West Africa, and have taught at the University of Chicago, Stanford University, and UChicago's Arts and Sciences summer program

in Bangalore, India.