A medical anthropologist by training, I am most concerned with critical analyses of the symbolics of the human body, where my research sites range from cosmopolitan medical centers within the United States to urban centers in sub-Saharan Africa. Since 1986, my work as an Africanist has been based in a polycultural plantation community of northwest Madagascar, where initial research addressed spirit mediumship and the gendered nature of healing; this formed the basis for The Possessed and the Dispossessed: Spirits, Identity, and Power in a Madagascar Migrant Town (California 1993). I subsequently returned to this same site in the mid-1990s to examine other forms of affliction, most notably the effects of the State's short-lived socialist project in shaping the historical and political consciousness of Malagasy school youth. This work culminated in a second study entitled The Sacrificed Generation: Youth, History, and the Colonized Mind in Madagascar (California 2002). Since 1992, I have simultaneously conducted research on organ transplantation, procurement, and donation in the United States. Key foci here include medical ideologies, body commodification, and the transformative properties of organ transplants specifically in reference to the social construction of the self. Relevant articles include "The Commodification of the Body and its Parts" (Annual Review of Anthropology, 2000), "A Medical Anthropologist's View on Posttransplant Complance and the Underground Economy of Medical Survival" (Transplantation Proceedings, 1999), and "Organ Transplantation as Transformative Experience: Anthropological Insights into the Restructuring of the Self" (Medical Anthropology Quarterly, 1995).
1993. The Possessed and the Dispossessed. Spirits, Identity, and Power in a Madagascar Migrant Town. University of California. Series in Comparative Studies of Health Systems and Medical Care, No. 37.
1994. "Exorcists, Psychiatrists, and the Problems of Possession in Northwest Madagascar", The Journal of Social and Medicine. 38:4:525-542.
1995. "Organ Transplantation as a Transformative Experience: Anthropological Insights into the Restructuring of the Self", Medical Anthropology Quarterly. 9:3:357-389.
1996. "The Work Ideology of Malagasy Children: Schooling and Survival in Urban Madagascar", Anthropology of Work Review 17:1&2:35-42.
1997. "Royal Difficulties: A Question of Succession in an Urbanized Sakalava Kingdom", The Journal of Religion in Africa 27:3:270-307.
1999. "A Medical Anthropologist's View on Posttransplant Compliance The Underground Economy of Medical Survival”, Transplantation Proceedings 31:Suppl 4A:31S-33S.