Susan Erikson

Susan EriksonNetwork Member

By taking up global health as an expansive social field that involves state and non-state actors at all levels of income, Susan interrogates relations of power that cultivate and fail to cultivate human health care. She has a particular interest in the fine-grained mechanics of technologies, data, and finance in global health. She has major and longstanding research relationships in Germany and Sierra Leone, where she has studied anticipatory technologies of different kinds. In Germany, she has studied prenatal diagnostic technologies and the making of obstetrical necessity. In Sierra Leone, her work is focused on anticipatory assemblages of care and non-care, with a special emphasis on data technologies (like big data applications during the Ebola epidemic) and financing instruments (like the Pandemic Emergency Facility). She is the grateful recipient of three mid-career fellowships in Germany: The Mercator Fellowship from the DFG Priority Program 1448 Adaptation and Creativity in Africa, Technologies and Significations in the Production of Order and Disorder, Universities of Halle and Leipzig in Spring 2016; As a Senior Fellow at the Käte Hamburger Kolleg Centre for Global Cooperation Research in Duisburg 2014-2015; and as a DAAD Visiting Research Faculty at the Maternal Health Research Center at the University of Osnabrück, Germany in 2006.

She is Professor of Global Health in the Faculty of Health Sciences at Simon Fraser University in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada.

Current position
University affiliation
Simon Fraser University


With funding from the Social Science and Humanities Research Council of Canada, Susan’s current research projects, entitled “Finance Matters: a study of venture investment in humanitarian aid financing” and “Following the Money: Emerging Forms of value in humanitarian aid financing”, analyze anticipatory and speculative technologies of care. Specifically, she is looking at value and risk mediations in humanitarian data and financing mechanisms.


  • Erikson, Susan (2019) "Faking global health." in Critical Public Health 29 (4): 508-516. →
  • Erikson, Susan (2019) "Global health futures? Reckoning with a pandemic bond." in Medicine Anthropology Theory 6 (3): 77-108. →
  • Erikson, Susan (2018) "Cell Phones ≠ Self: An Analysis of the Big Data Detection and Containment Hypes of the 2014-2016 West African Ebola Pandemic." in Medical Anthropology Quarterly.
  • Erikson, Susan (2017) "The Limits of the International Health Regulations: Ebola Governance, Regulatory Breach, and the Non-Negotiable Necessity of National Healthcare." in The Governance of Disease Outbreaks. International Health Law: Lessons from the Ebola Crisis and Beyond , edited by Pedro A. Villarreal, Katrina Weilert, and Leonie Vierck. Heidelberg: Nomos Publishing.
  • Erikson, Susan L. (2016) "Metrics and Market Logics of Global Health." in Metrics: What Counts in Global Health , edited by Vincanne Adams. Durham, NC: Duke University Press.
  • Erikson, Susan L. (2014) "Global Health Indicators and Maternal Health Futures: The Case of Intrauterine Growth Restriction." in Global Public Health: An International Journal for Research, Policy and Practice 10 (10): 1157-1171.
  • Erikson, Susan L. and Claire Wendland (2014) "Exclusionary Practice: Medical Schools and Global Health Clinical Electives." in Student BMJ, 5 June.
  • Sargent, Carolyn and Susan L. Erikson (2013) "Hospitals as Sites of Cultural Confrontation and Integration." in European States and Their Muslim Citizens: The Impact of Institutions on Perceptions and Boundaries , edited by John R Bowen, Christophe Bertossi, Jan Willem Duyvendak and Mona Lena Krook, 29-53. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
  • Erikson, Susan L. (2012) "Secrets from Whom? Following the Money in Global Health Finance." in Current Anthropology 56 (S12): 306-316.
  • Erikson, Susan L. (2012) "Global Health Business: The Production and Performativity of Statistics in Sierra Leone and Germany." in Medical Anthropology 32 (4): 367-384.
  • Erikson, Susan L. (2012) "Social Embodiments: Prenatal Risk in Postsocialist Germany." in Anthropologica 54 (1): 83-94.
  • Erikson, Susan L. (2011) "Global Ethnography: Problems of Theory and Method." in Globalization, Reproduction, and the State , edited by Carole C. H. Browner and Carolyn F. Sargent, 23-37. Durham: Duke University Press.