Maya Unnithan

Maya Unnithan is Professor of Social and Medical Anthropology and Director of the Centre for Cultures of Reproduction, Technologies and Health (CORTH) at the University of Sussex. Maya received a PhD (1991) in Social Anthropology from Cambridge University and holds degrees in Sociology (MA) and Economics (BA Hons). She has taught at Sussex since 1991 and initiated postgraduate courses in Medical Anthropology in 2003. Her research interests include kinship and gender politics, childbirth, infertility, maternal health inequalities, sexual reproductive health rights, migration, reproductive technologies, sex selection, surrogacy and global health. She has thirty years of international, collaborative and field-based research experience in India. Maya has recently completed an Economic and Social Science Research Council funded research project on civil society understandings of human rights as applied to sexual, maternal and reproductive health in India.

Maya is particularly interested in the intersections between mobilities, migration and global health, especially the social implications and cultural underpinnings of global flows of ideas and technologies of reproduction, health and rights. Her work in the area of migration began with field research in 2004 on the internal rural-urban migration of labour migrants in NW India, with a specific focus on women’s experiences of birth, reproductive health and the implications of movement for the health of their children. Maya has explored the role of emotion and meanings of place in migrant sexual and reproductive health. She is currently engaged in collaborative work on sex-selective abortion amongst British Asians (UK) and on adolescent migrant reproductive health in India and South Africa.