Aneel Brar

aneel brar

DPhil Student

St John's College

Thesis: Structural violence, gender-preference, and maternal mental health in Rajasthan, India (working title)

My principal concern as a researcher is the sociosomatic condition of humanity—how social forces register on the body and serve to deepen inequality and health disparity. My goal as a medical anthropologist advocating for human rights and social justice is to uncover how social forces become embodied as illness among vulnerable women and to translate lessons into policies and programs that reduce structural violence and advance health equity. My doctoral thesis has two components: 1) The design, implementation, and evaluation of a maternal mental health program; and 2) an empirical and theoretical inquiry into how social forces become embodied as illness during and after pregnancy. An overarching objective of this project is to develop and advance a multidisciplinary methodological approach to global health equity that combines epidemiology, ethnography, political economy, and implementation research.

Currently, I am the Chief Operating Officer (unpaid) of the Mata Jai Kaur Maternal and Child Health Centre (MJK), a non-profit that provides prenatal care and safe delivery services to vulnerable women in Sri Ganganagar, a remote district of Rajasthan, India. MJK’s catchment area will serve as my main thesis field site, with potential secondary sites in Pakistan and Canada.

I am originally from Calgary, Canada. My previous training is in biology (BSc, University of Calgary), political science (MA, McGill University), and global health delivery (MMSc, Harvard University).