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Rebekah Ciribassi

Ph.D. Student in Anthropology


Rebekah Ciribassi received a joint Masters in Public Health and Masters in Anthropology through the University of Illinois at Chicago’s Anthropology and Global Health program in 2014. She joined the Cornell Department of Anthropology in 2015. Rebekah’s research foci broadly include medical anthropology, science and technology studies, and historiography in East Africa. She is interested in the complex relationships between the epistemologies of biomedical and global health regimes, political and economic histories, and bodily ontologies.

Rebekah’s dissertation research specifically focuses on sickle cell disease diagnosis in Tanzania, with special attention to the ways that diagnostic technologies mediate locally-particular narratives of bodies, kin-reckoning, nationalism, and multiculturalism. She is working with Tanzanian biomedical practitioners and sickle cell-diagnosed families in order to study the integration of genetic science into everyday life. As genetic technologies become increasingly available and prioritized across the African continent, they open up questions about biomedical authority, postcolonial ideologies of relatedness, and the translation of local political histories into medical knowledge. Rebekah's dissertation will unpack these issues within the context of postcolonial, post-socialist, and neoliberal Tanzania.


critical medical anthropology, science and technology studies, East Africa


  • Anthropology
  • Feminist, Gender & Sexuality Studies Program
  • Society for the Humanities