School of Social and Political Science

Dr Chisomo Kalinga

Job Title

Chancellor's Fellow in Social Anthropology

Headshot of Chisomo Kalinga

Room number


Building (Address)

22A Buccleuch Place

City (Address)


Country (Address)


Post code (Address)


Research interests

Research themes

Research interests

Storytelling and Narrative, African Literature, African Print and Oral Literature, Literary Ethnography, Indigenous Knowledge Systems, Decolonial Theory, Participatory Action Research, Transdisciplinary Research Methods and Design, Critical Health and Medical Humanities

Current research (2021-2026)


Previous grants

2018-2022 – Wellcome Research Fellowship in Humanities and Social Science  ‘Ulimbaso ‘You will be strong again’: How literary aesthetics and storytelling inform concepts of health and wellbeing in Malawi' at University of Edinburgh, Social Anthropology

2017-2018 – Wellcome Seed Grant ‘Tili Tonse (We are Listening): Mapping Oral Narratives and Storytelling Traditions Amongst Various Community Health Settings in Malawi’ at University of Edinburgh, Centre of African Studies

2014-2015 - Postdoctoral Fellow ‘Narratives of Magic and Medicine in British Central Africa Protectorate/Nyasaland: Journals of the Medical Missionaries from the Church of Scotland (1875-1915)’ at University of Edinburgh, Institute for Advanced Studies in the Humanities

Public engagement

Founder, Malawi Medical Humanities Network:]

Co-founder, ‘Health and Medical Humanities Studies and Disabilities Research Network’ at IASH: 

Malawi Country Rep: Medical and Health Humanities Africa:  

Digital Archive: ‘Malawian (Hi)Stories and the Medical Humanities: A Digital Repository for Arts, Humanities and Health Resources’. [See]

Documentary: On Feeling Chenene by Firestarters Productions (Malawi)



British Society for Literature and Science. []

Past Projects

Advisor on the AHRC-MRC Global Public Health Partnership grant titled “Culture And Bodies: An Interdisciplinary Approach To Non-communicable Disease Prevention In Malawi And Tanzania”. 2018-2020 [See]

Project Associate on the Wellcome Trust Investigator Award in Medical Humanities to research Chronic Disease in Sub-Saharan Africa: a critical history of an 'Epidemiological Transition' held by Professor Megan Vaughan




King’s College London, PhD, English Research (2014)

George Mason University, Masters, English: Professional Writing and Editing (2006)

McMaster University, Honours B.A., English Literature (2004)



Author: HIV & AIDS in Anglophone African Literature (In development)

Managing Editor: “Health Humanities in Global Context: Race and Ethnicity Across the World” Palgrave (under contract)


‘Prophecy, Power and AIDS in Wim Boswinkel’s Erina’ Journal of the African Literature Association Volume 9/Issue 2 2015

‘Memorialising Sex, the Dying and the Dead in HIV/AIDS Drama: Larry Kramer’s The Normal Heart and William Hoffman’s As Is’ Stet Journal, Issue 4 (June 2014)

Selected media

Contributor: ‘If you’re thinking of singing the Lukaku chant this weekend, history should convince you otherwise’ by Max McLean Press Association 27 March 2018 < >

‘Confronting the Black Jezebel Stereotype: The contentious legacy of Brenda Fassie, South Africa’s pop princess’ The Dangerous Women Project 20 March 2016 <

‘The Clubs Shaping Malawi’s Literary Future’ OkayAfrica 6 November 2015 <

Book reviews

‘Americanah by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie’ Make: A Literary Magazine Issue 15/Misfits, 28 August 2014

‘Love, Money and HIV: Becoming a Modern African Woman in the Age of AIDS by Sanyu A. Mojola’ Centre for Medical Humanities blog, Durham University (18 November 2014) < >


‘Promoting Human Rights and Access to Health Services in Prisons in Malawi: A Baseline Study’ with Malawi Prison Services, United Nations Office on Drugs & Crime (UNODC) and the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC), conducted by Volunteer Services Oversees (VSO)

See Chisomo's full CV at

Works within