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Academic Staff

Professor Fiona C Ross

I am an NRF-rated Professor of Anthropology at the University of Cape Town and a Fellow of the University. 


Academic Interests and Current Research Projects

My work is concerned with formations of social life in apartheid’s aftermath.

My interests span a variety of subfields in Anthropology, including urban, medical and linguistic anthropology, anthropological theory and critical ethnography.

My current research, supported by an AW Mellon Chair, explores how life is made social and how contemporary knowledge formations are mobilised in defence of well-being. More information is available at www.thousanddays.uct.ac.za.

I teach at all levels, and supervise research that focuses on Southern and Central Africa.


Selected Recent Publications

Saunders, R., R. Saunders and F. Ross. 2021.  The Saunders’ Fieldguide to Gladioli of South Africa. Struik/Random House: Cape Town. 

Lachman, Anusha, Astrid Berg, Fiona C. Ross and Michelle Pentecost. (2021).  ‘Infant Mental Health in Southern Africa: nurturing a field’ The Lancet. Volume 398, ISSUE 10303, P835-836.  https://doi.org/10.1016/ S0140-6736(21)00998-3 

Fiona C. Ross & Tessa Moll. 2020. ‘Assisted Reproduction: politics, ethics and anthropological futures,’ Medical Anthropology, DOI: 10.1080/01459740.2019.1695130

Manderson, Lenore, Fiona C. Ross. 2020. ‘Publics, technologies and interventions in reproduction and early life in South Africa.’ Palgrave Communications (formerly Humanities and Social Science Communications) 7, 40. DOI: 10.1057/s41599-020-0531-3.

Fiona C. Ross. 2020. ‘Ethics, Histories and Redress: Ethical Orientations in the Southern African Context’. Working Paper 3.  World Council of Anthropological Associations.                                                                    https://www.waunet.org/downloads/wcaa/publications/working-papers/wp3.pdf

Fiona C. Ross. 2020. Response to Commentary: ‘Why are black South African students less likely to consider studying biological sciences?’ (Prof. N Nattrass). South African Journal of Science. 116(special issue), Art. #8481. DOI: 10.17159/sajs.2020/8481.

Fiona C. Ross. 2020. ‘Rising Tides and Anthropological Morals.’  Colloquium on a/moral Anthropology. HAU: Journal of Ethnographic Theory. 10 (3): 1022-1025. https://www.journals.uchicago.edu/doi/pdf/10.1086/711713

Pentecost, M and F. C. Ross. 2019. ‘The first thousand days: Motherhood, scientific knowledge, and local histories’ Medical Anthropology. Vol 38 (8): 747-761.  https://doi.org/10.1080/01459740.2019.1590825

Chekero, T and F C Ross. 2018. ‘On paper and having papers: Zimbabwean migrant women’s experiences in accessing healthcare in Giyani of Limpopo Province, South Africa.  Anthropology Southern Africa. Vol. 41 (1). https://doi.org/10.1080/23323256.2018.1442729