Africa at Noon on September 3, 2014

Celebrations, Silences, and Contemporary “Global Health” Volunteering in Africa

Claire Wendland
Assistant Professor, Anthropology
University of Wisconsin-Madison

Time and Location

12:00pm, 206 Ingra­ham Hall, 1155 Obser­va­tory Drive, Madi­son, WI


Interest in volunteer and service-learning opportunities at African health sites has escalated rapidly since the turn of the millennium.  Wendland’s work and that of her colleagues shows that attempts (by volunteers and others) to complicate the celebratory rhetoric that attends such global health activities are sometimes silenced. In this talk, she invites guests to consider collectively how an optimistic yet critical analysis could help health volunteerism in Africa move to a more effective future.


Claire Wendland is an associate professor in the Departments of Anthropology, Obstetrics & Gynecology, and Medical History & Bioethics.  She trained and worked as an obstetrician-gynecologist before turning to medical anthropology, and has taught at University of Wisconsin-Madison since 2005.  Her current research project explores maternal mortality in Malawi.