Research Staff

Karine Aasgaard Jansen

Senior researcher

Social anthropologist focusing on medical anthropology, health and politics.

Karine Aasgaard Jansen holds an MSc in social anthropology and a PhD in cultural studies from the University of Bergen. Prior to joining CMI she worked as a senior researcher and a lecturer in ethnology at Umeå University in Sweden.

Karine has done extensive ethnographic fieldwork in Réunion, Mauritius and Madagascar, and from 2016-19 she led the research project "Contagion and culture: The 2005-07 chikungunya epidemic in the Western Indian Ocean". The study was funded by the Swedish Research Council, and was a comparative medical anthropological project on human-environment interaction, and its effect on the diffusion and understanding of vector-borne diseases such as chikungunya across the islands of Réunion and Mauritius. Since 2019 she has also been affiliated to the Indian Ocean World Centre (IOWC) at McGill University, Canada.

She has worked within the field of medical anthropology throughout her whole career, primarily focusing on issues at the interface between health and politics. In addition to her studies on chikungunya, her post doc project at Umeå University was on the 2009-10 swine flu pandemic and subsequent mass vaccination in Scandinavia. Her primary research interests concern cultural conceptualisations of disease and contagion, in particular how political discourses and public health interventions feed into local illness experiences. She is also strongly committed to issues concerning women’s health, especially gender-based violence and fertility control. From 2016-19 she was affiliated to the Centre for International Health at the University of Bergen with a study on the black market for illegal abortion in Madagascar.