Professor Anita Hardon

SSPS Fellow

Professor Anita Hardon       

SSPS Fellow June - July 2020    

Home Institution: Amsterdam Institute for Social Science Research  

Project: ChemicalYouth: Managing Uncertainty in Conditions of Precarity


Trained as an anthropologist and medical biologist, Anita Hardon engages has engaged in multi-level, multi-sited and often interdisciplinary studies on immunization, new reproductive technologies, and AIDS medicines that have generated ethnographic insights on the appropriation of these technologies in diverse social-cultural settings, their efficacy in everyday life, the role of social movements in their design, and the dynamics of care and policy- making in their provision. She is Full Professor in Anthropology of Care and Health at the University of Amsterdam, and co-director of the University of Amsterdam Research Priority Area Global Health.

She was awarded an advanced grant from the European Research Council for a multi-sited study on ChemicalYouth. The study aimed to understand what chemical and pharmaceutical substances, and not only illicit narcotics, ‘do’ for youths, using concepts and theories from medical anthropology, science and technology studies and youth studies. The generous ERC funding, not only resulted in theoretical advancements (see Hardon and Sanabria 2017), it also enabled experimentation with new ways of doing ethnography, including tools from the digital humanities, and several arts translations. In ChemicalYouth she collaborated with 25 young researchers and artists from the USA, the Netherlands, France, Indonesia, the Philippines and Ethiopia, see also She is preparing a manuscript on the insights form this project for the Palgrave Critical Studies of Risk and Uncertainty Series. For more information about her work:

IASH Project: At IASH, Anita Hardon will conduct a comparative analysis of ‘chemical supplementing’ in the Netherlands, Philippines and the USA, building on an analysis recently published in the American Ethnologist (Hardon et al. 2019), and insights from the making of the documentary ‘Sweet Medicine’ (see, one of the arts projects that emerged from the ChemicalYouth project. She will engage with scholars from the Edinburgh Centre for Medical Anthropology.