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I am a Lecturer at the New School for Social Research in New York and a Research Fellow in the Anthropology Department of Harvard University, working on postdoctoral research projects based at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine (PAVE) and the Wits Institute for Social and Economic Research (REGIONS2050), for which I am one of the scientific coordinators of the Congo Basin research cluster.


My work lies at the intersection of medical anthropology, political ecology, multispecies ethnography and science and technology studies (STS), with commitments to feminist theory and postcolonial studies. My research and teaching engage issues of environmental conservation and sustainable development, health and disease, economic inequality, and histories of racial capitalism in colonial and postcolonial Africa.

Photograph of Lys Alcayna-Stevens

I completed my PhD in Social Anthropology at the University of Cambridge in 2017, and was a Fyssen Foundation Postdoctoral Fellow at the Institut Pasteur and the Laboratoire d'Anthropologie Sociale (Collège de France) in Paris from 2016-18. I have also been visiting scholar at the Institute for Anthropological Research in Africa at KU Leuven in 2021, and in the Anthropology Department at the University of Zurich (UZH) in 2022. My research has been funded by the Economic and Social Research Council (UK), the Arts & Humanities Research Council (UK), the Agence Nationale de la Recherche (France) and the National Institute for Health Research (UK). 

I have collaborated with researchers at the University of Kinshasa's School of Public Health, as well as with the Congolese ministries of Public Health and of the Environment. I have also worked with community-based organizations in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), and I serve on the advisory board of the US-based non-profit, Congo Education Partners (CEP), which was established in 2013 to build the capacity of Djolu Technical College, the only accredited higher learning institution in Tshuapa Province, DRC. I am also available to act as an expert witness for asylum seekers and refugees from central African countries through the consulting service, Communitology.

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