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Professor S Sjaak Van der Geest

Emeritus Professor Medical Anthropology,University of Amsterdam


Emeritus Professor Medical Anthropology,University of Amsterdam


Medical Anthropology
University of Amsterdam
Oudezijds Achterburgwal 185
1012 DK Amsterdam
The Netherlands



Sjaak van der Geestis Professor Emeritus of Medical Anthropology at the University of Amsterdam. He has done fieldwork in Ghana and Cameroon on a variety of subjects including sexual relationships and birthcontrol, the use and distribution of medicines, popular song texts, meanings of growing old, and concepts of dirt, hygiene and defecation.  He is founder and editor-in-chief of the journal Medische Antropologie and assistant editor of several other journals in the field of medical anthropology.

Key research/capacity building interests

Research Interests

  • Experiences of growing old
  • Social and cultural meanings of medicines
  • Culture, hygiene and dirt
  • Hospital ethnography


  • Anthropological, qualitative, reflexivity

Key methodological skills

  • Ageing and intergenerational support in Ghana
  • Experiences of dirt and disgust
  •  HIV/AIDS, stigma and privacy