About Me

I am a researcher, writer, and consultant. I am best known for my research with children living in difficult circumstances, my work on care giving in southern Africa, and my writing on global health inequities.

I am currently Research Scientist in the Division of Public Health Sciences at Washington University’s School of Medicine in St. Louis. I have a PhD in anthropology and a master of public health (MPH) from Northwestern University. I did my postdoctoral training in community-based cancer disparities research at Washington University and the Siteman Cancer Center.

My work is published in a range of peer-reviewed journals, including Medical Anthropology Quarterly, Childhood, Children’s Geographies, AIDS Care, Child Abuse & Neglect, The International Journal of Tuberculosis & Lung Disease, Maturitas, and the American Journal of Health Behavior. I am completing a book on my work with children in Zambia, which is entitled On Being Closer: Child Caregivers, Kinship, and Tuberculosis in an African City.

I have won a number of awards for my writing and research. Most recently, I was awarded the 2014 Steven Polgar Prize from the Society for Medical Anthropology for my article, “Children’s Roles in Tuberculosis Treatment Regimes: Constructing Childhood and Kinship in Urban Zambia.” I have received grants and fellowships for my work from the National Science Foundation, Fulbright IIE, Wenner-Gren Foundation for Anthropological Research, and AAUW.

I was a Peace Corps Volunteer in Zambia from 1999 to 2002. I spent two years living in a village near the Malawi border, where I worked on water sanitation projects, learned how to speak Tumbuka, and enjoyed living in the rural countryside. In 2001, I was promoted to Peace Corps Volunteer Leader. I moved to Serenje, near the Democratic Republic of Congo, and supportedĀ volunteers living in villages in Central and Copperbelt Provinces. It was, as the Peace Corps slogans say, the toughest job I ever loved.

For a list of my current and past research projects, visit my Washington University website. I serve as a consultant on global health projects and initiatives related to children in adversity, disease prevention and control, and other health topics. I also advise on research methodologies, including ethnographic methods, qualitative interview and analysis techniques, community-based participatory research, and more. You can contact me here or at jean.hunleth@gmail.com.

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