Erika Pathó: “Digestive Disorders and Bodily Ecologies in Urban India”

In Students by General Account

    My PhD research is an ethnographic study of digestive disorders and food intolerances in India, focused on how entanglements between bodies, food and the environment are perceived and enacted in an urban context. Informed by concepts from sensorial anthropology, multi-species ethnography and the anthropology of the body, I am interested in exploring how patients navigate pathological states related to the digestion and absorption of food through the application of biomedical and Ayurvedic treatment approaches. During my fieldwork, I will study local medical and folk ideologies associated with digestive health and popular beliefs concerning the role of nutrition and the microbiome in physical and mental well-being. I will examine how these concepts inform how gastrointestinal illness is perceived, articulated and responded to in medical and social settings. The project will add to our knowledge of human-microbial relations and will inform our awareness of the interconnections between food, environment and human health in contemporary India.

    Prior to my PhD, I studied an MA in Health and Society in South Asia at the University of Heidelberg in Germany. Previously, I completed an MA in International Relations and worked in the field of development cooperation and with non-governmental organisations in India and Nepal.