Amsterdam Institute for Social Science Research (AISSR)

Photographer: onbekend

prof. A.B. (Alexander) Edmonds


  • Faculty of Social and Behavioural Sciences
    Programme group: Anthropology of Health, Care and the Body
  • Visiting address
    REC BC
    Nieuwe Achtergracht 166  Amsterdam
  • Postal address:
    Postbus  15509
    1001 NA  Amsterdam
  • A.B.Edmonds@uva.nl

Short bio

Alexander Edmonds is Professor of Social and Medical Anthropology at the University of Edinburgh.  He also holds an appointment as senior researcher at the University of Amsterdam's Centre for Social Science and Global Health.  His research has examined the social uses of medical technology, plastic surgery, international development, and more recently, military cultures, mental health and psychological expertise.  Regionally, he conducts ethnographic fieldwork in Brazil and the United States. Edmonds earned a BA with distinction in philosophy and religion from Stanford and a PhD with distinction in anthropology from Princeton.  He was also a Woodrow Wilson Postdoctoral Fellow at the University of California, Los Angeles.

Research

A major focus of his research is therapeutic work on the self and body in consumer societies.  His book, Pretty Modern: Beauty, Sex and Plastic Surgery in Brazil, explores the commercial, erotic and intimate aspects of beauty in a nation with extremes of wealth and poverty. The book was awarded the Diana Forsythe prize from the American Anthropological Association, the Eileen Basker Memorial prize from the Society for Medical Anthropology, and honorable mention in the Sharon Stevens prize from the American Ethnological Society.  

His current work is with military veterans.  Focusing on the United States, Israel and the Netherlands, this project is a comparative study of psychological health, resilience and reintegration after combat.  It also examines the development of clinical reasoning on war syndromes over the last decade. This research is funded by a five-year “Starting Grant” from the European Research Council. His other work has been supported by the Social Science Research Council, the Woodrow Wilson Society at Princeton, the European Union 7th Framework Program, and the Andrew Mellon Foundation. 

Edmonds has written about his research for news media, including the New York Times, and been interviewed about his work by BBC Radio, the Associated Press, and other media outlets.     

Publications: books

 Journal articles and book chapters (selected)

  •  Edmonds, A. 2013. Can Medicine be Aesthetic? Disentangling Beauty and Health in Elective Surgeries. Medical Anthropology Quarterly 27(2):233-52.
  • Edmonds, A. 2013. The Biological Subject of Aesthetic Medicine. Feminist Theory 14(1):65-82.
  • Edmonds, A. 2012. A Right to Beauty. Anthropology Now 4(1):3-9.
  • Edmonds, A. 2012. Body Image in Non-Western Societies. The Encyclopedia of Body Image and Human Appearance. T. Cash (ed.) Elsevier. pp.238-242.  
  • Edmonds, A. 2011. “Almost Invisible Scars”: Medical Tourism to Brazil. Signs 36 (2):297-302.  
  • Edmonds, A. 2009.  Learning to Love Yourself: Esthetics, Health and Therapeutics in Brazilian Plastic Surgery. Ethnos 74(4):465-489. (Awarded David Edge Prize)
  • Edmonds, A. 2009.  'Engineering the Erotic': Aesthetic Medicine and Modernization in Brazil. In C. Heyes and M. Jones (eds.) Cosmetic Surgery: A Feminist Primer, pp. 153-169.  Farnham, UK: Ashgate.
  • Edmonds, A. 2008.  Beauty and Health: Anthropological Perspectives. Medische Antropologie 20(1):151-162.
  • Edmonds, A. 2007.  'The Poor Have the Right to be Beautiful': Cosmetic Surgery in Neoliberal Brazil. Journal of the Royal Anthropological Institute 13: 363-381.
  • Edmonds, A. 2007. "Triumphant Miscegenation": Reflections on Race and Beauty in Brazil. Journal of Intercultural Communication 28(1): 83-97.
  • Edmonds, A. 2002.  No Universo da Beleza: Notas de Campo sobre a Cirurgia  Plastica no Rio deJaneiro. In M. Goldenberg, ed., 2002. Nus &  Vestidos. Rio de Janeiro: Record 

Media

Teaching and supervision

Edmonds has taught courses and supervises theses on medical anthropology, mental health and emotion, race, visual anthropology, international development, reproductive health and sexuality, and the ethnography of Brazil and Latin America. 

Awards and fellowships

  • 2012 David Edge Prize for best journal article in science and technology studies.  Awarded by the Society for Social Studies of Science (4S).  
  • 2011 Diana Forsythe Prize for best book in the anthropology of work, science, technology, and biomedicine.  Awarded by the American Anthropological Association
  • 2011 Honorable Mention, Sharon Stephens Prize for best first book.  Awarded by the American Ethnological Society. 
  • 2011 Honorable Mention, Roberto Reis Prize for best book in Brazilian studies.    
  • 2002-4 Woodrow Wilson Postdoctoral Fellow, Center for Modern Studies, Univ. of California, Los Angeles
  • 2001 Woodrow Wilson Society of Fellows, Dissertation Writing Grant
  • 2000 Social Science Research Council, Dissertation fellowship 

Research grants (selected)

  • 2012.  European Research Council Starting Grant for  5 years anthropological research on combat trauma and military psychiatry.
  • 2010.  Multi-partner grant for 4 years research on adolescent reproductive and sexual health in Latin America, funded by EU 7th Framework program.  
  • 2006. Early Career Grant, "Black Subjectivity," Macquarie University 

 

2014

  • Nelson, E., Edmonds, A., Ballesteros, M., Encalada Soto, D., & Rodriguez, O. (2014). The unintended consequences of sex education: an ethnography of a development intervention in Latin America. Anthropology & Medicine, 21(2), 189-201. DOI: 10.1080/13648470.2014.918932 [details] [PDF]

2013

  • Edmonds, A. (2013). Can medicine be aesthetic? Disentangling beauty and health in elective surgeries. Medical Anthropology Quarterly, 27(2), 233-252. DOI: 10.1111/maq.12025 [details]
  • Edmonds, A. (2013). The biological subject of aesthetic medicine. Feminist Theory, 14(1), 65-82. DOI: 10.1177/1464700112468571 [details]

2012

  • Edmonds, A. (2012). Body image in non-western societies. In T. Cash (Ed.), Encyclopaedia of body image and human appearance. - Vol. 1 (pp. 238-242). Amsterdam: Elsevier/Academic Press. DOI: 10.1016/B978-0-12-384925-0.00036-5 [details]

2011

  • Edmonds, A. (2011). "Almost invisible scars": medical tourism to Brazil. Signs: Journal of Women in Culture and Society, 36(2), 297-302. DOI: 10.1086/655909 [details]

2010

  • Edmonds, A. (2010). Pretty modern: beauty, sex, and plastic surgery in Brazil. Durham, NC: Duke University Press. [details]

2009

  • Edmonds, A. (2009). 'Engineering the erotic': aesthetic medicine and modernization in Brazil. In C. J. Heyes, & M. Jones (Eds.), Cosmetic surgery: a feminist primer (pp. 152-169). Farnham: Ashgate. [details]
  • Edmonds, A. (2009). Beauty, health and risk in Brazilian plastic surgery. Medische Antropologie, 21(1), 21-38. [details]
  • Edmonds, A. (2009). Learning to love yourself: esthetics, health, and therapeutics in Brazilian plastic surgery. Ethnos, 74(4), 465-489. DOI: 10.1080/00141840903201829 [details]
  • Edmonds, A., & van der Geest, S. (2009). Introducing 'beauty and health'. Medische Antropologie, 21(1), 5-19. [details] [PDF]

2008

  • Edmonds, A. (2008). Beauty and health: anthropological perspectives. Medische Antropologie, 20(1), 151-162. [details]

2007

  • Edmonds, A. B. (2007). ""Triumphant Miscegenation’": Reflections on Race and Beauty in Brazil.". Intercultural Communication, 28(1), 83-97. [details]
  • Edmonds, A. B. (2007). 'The Poor Have the Right to be Beautiful’. Journal of the Royal Anthropological Institute, 2007(13), 363-381. [details]
  • Edmonds, A. (2007). 'The Poor Have the Right to be Beautiful’: Cosmetic Surgery in Neoliberal Brazil. Journal of the Royal Anthropological Institute, 13(2), 363-381. DOI: 10.1111/j.1467-9655.2007.00427.x [details]

2010

  • Edmonds, A. (2010). Anne Ackermann: plástica. In A. Socher (Ed.), Leben, Lieben, Leiden: Frauenbilder junger Künstlerinnen (pp. 20-25). Bielefeld: Kerber Artbooks. [details]

2009

  • Edmonds, A. (2009). Plástica: beauty and body modification in Brazil. LOVA, 30(1), 49-55. [details]

Award

  • Edmonds, A.B. (2013): Eileen Basker Memorial Prize, for excellence in research on gender and health.
  • Edmonds, A.B. (2012): David Edge Prize for best journal article in the area of science and technology studies. Awarded by the Society for Social Studies of Science (4S).
  • Edmonds, A.B. (2012): European Research Council (ERC) "Starting Grant" for five years anthropological research.
  • Edmonds, A.B. (2012): David Edge Prize for best journal article in the area of science and technology studies.
  • Edmonds, A.B. (2012): Honorable mention, Sharon Stephens Prize, best first book.
  • Edmonds, A.B. (2012): Honorable Mention, Roberto Reis Award, best book in Brazilian Studies.
  • Edmonds, A.B. (2012): European Research Council (ERC) "Starting Grant" of 1,492,000 euros for five years anthropological research.
  • Edmonds, A.B. (2011): Diana Forsythe Prize, best book, anthropology of work, science, technology and medicine.
  • Edmonds, A.B. (2010): EU 7th Framework Program 4-year, multi-partner grant on adolescent reproductive and sexual health in Latin America (CERCA).

Scientific position

  • Edmonds, A.B. (member) (2012): Society for Medical Anthropology (External organisation).
  • Edmonds, A.B. (member) (2012): Society for Medical Anthropology (External organisation).
  • Edmonds, A.B. (member) (2012): Amsterdam Social Science (Journal) (External organisation).
  • Edmonds, A.B. (member) (2012): Society for Medical Anthropology (External organisation).
  • Edmonds, A.B. (member) (2012): Society for Medical Anthropology (External organisation).
  • Edmonds, A.B. (member) (2007-2009): Medical Anthropology Quarterly (External organisation).
  • Edmonds, A.B. (member) (2007-2009): Journal of the Royal Anthropological Institute (External organisation).
  • Edmonds, A.B. (member) (2007-2009): Ethnos (External organisation).

Media appearance

  • Edmonds, Alexander (10-01-2012): Die Schönheitschirurgie boomt in Brasilien [Radio]. Die Schönheitschirurgie boomt in Brasilien.
  • Edmonds, Alexander (17-11-2011): Brazilië: onder het mes voor maatschappelijk succes [Radio] Radio Nederlands. Brazilië: onder het mes voor maatschappelijk succes.
  • Edmonds, Alexander (17-08-2011): Profile in Italian newspaper, Corriere della Serra, "La bellezza puo diventare un diritto?" [Print]. Profile in Italian newspaper, Corriere della Serra, "La bellezza puo diventare un diritto?".
  • Edmonds, Alexander (09-02-2011): Plastic surgery in Brazil [Radio] BBC radio 4. Plastic surgery in Brazil.

Journal editor

  • Edmonds, A. (editor) & van der Geest, S. (editor) (2009): Medische Antropologie (Journal).
  • Edmonds, A.B. (editor) & van der Geest, S. (editor) (2009): Medische Antropologie (Journal).
  • van der Geest, S. (editor) & Edmonds, A.B. (editor) (2009): Medische Antropologie (Journal).

Keynote / invited lecture

  • Edmonds, A.B. (invited speaker) (16-11-2012): ReWriting Ethnograpy: Stephens Prize Winners Reflect, Invited roundtable, American Anthropological Association annual meeting, San Francisco.
  • Edmonds, A.B. (invited speaker) (16-11-2012): "ReWriting Ethnograpy: Stephens Prize Winners Reflect.", Invited roundtable, American Anthropological Association annual meeting, San Francisco.
  • Edmonds, A.B. (invited speaker) (25-10-2012): "Beauty in Another America". Invited lecture., Americas Research Group and Gender Research Group, Newcastle University, Newcastle.
  • Edmonds, A.B. (invited speaker) (25-10-2012): Beauty in Another America, Invited Talk. Americas Research Group and Gender Research Group, Newcastle University, Newcastle.
  • Edmonds, A.B. (invited speaker) (25-1-2012): Aesthetic medicine: health and cosmetic rationales in Brazilian plastic surgery, Invited talk. Centre for Interdisciplinary Gender Studies, Leeds University, Leeds.
  • Edmonds, A.B. (invited speaker) (25-1-2012): "Aesthetic medicine: health and cosmetic rationales in Brazilian plastic surgery." Invited talk., Centre for Interdisciplinary Gender Studies, Leeds University, Leeds.
  • Edmonds, A.B. (invited speaker) (24-5-2011): "What makes cosmetic surgery ‘good’?" Invited talk., Qualification in practices seminar, Amsterdam Institute for Social Science Research, Amsterdam.
  • Edmonds, A.B. (invited speaker) (24-5-2011): What makes cosmetic surgery ‘good’?, Invited talk. Qualification in practices seminar, Amsterdam Institute for Social Science Research., Amsterdam.
  • Edmonds, A.B. (invited speaker) (28-3-2011): Schoonheid, Cafe Scientifique, Amsterdam.
  • Edmonds, A.B. (invited speaker) (4-11-2011): "Empire of the Scalpel." Invited talk., Center for Latin American Research and Documentation, Amsterdam.
  • Edmonds, A.B. (invited speaker) (4-11-2011): Empire of the Scalpel, Invited talk. Center for Latin American Research and Documentation., Amsterdam.
  • Edmonds, A.B. (invited speaker) (13-3-2009): "Learning to Love Yourself." Invited talk., Social Anthropology Seminar Series, University of Edinburgh, Edinburgh.
  • Edmonds, A.B. (invited speaker) (15-12-2006): "Plastic Surgery in Neoliberal Brazil." Invited talk., Anthropology Seminar, University of Helsinki, Helsinki.
  • Edmonds, A.B. (invited speaker) (15-12-2006): Plastic Surgery in Neoliberal Brazil, Invited talk. Anthropology Seminar, University of Helsinki, Helsinki.
This list of publications is extracted from the UvA-Current Research Information System. Questions? Ask the library or the Pure staff of your faculty / institute. Log in to Pure to edit your publications.

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