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Department of Social Anthropology



After studying global health and humanitarian action at Sciences Po Paris, Emmanuelle Roth completed her MRes in ethnographic research methods at SOAS in 2015. The same year, she joined an international team of anthropologists involved in the intervention against the Ebola outbreak in West Africa. She conducted fieldwork in an Ebola Treatment Unit in Forest Guinea, with a focus on the making of science in emergency.

Her current research project looks at the ways people in the city of Nzérékoré inhabit a space of ‘emergence’, filled with fatalism, absurdity and hope, in the aftermath of the Ebola outbreak. It does not take injunctions to prepare for the next epidemic at face value, but undertakes an ethnography of the actual technologies of anticipation and memory practices relevant for doctors, victims and their relatives in and around the former Ebola Treatment Unit. It questions the possibility that ‘emergence’ might be invested as a mode of existence, when the protection conferred by global health apparatuses seems quite illusory.


West Africa; philosophy of time and temporalities; anthropology of the future(s); anthropology of epidemics; global health; preparedness; technologies of anticipation; divination; memory; affect theory.

Research Title: After/before an Ebola outbreak: waiting for a new epidemic 'emergence' in Forest Guinea
Supervisor: Dr Maryon McDonald
 Emmanuelle  Roth (2016)

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