School of Social and Political Science

Dr Koreen Reece

Job Title

Academic Visitor to Social Anthropology (previously ERC Postdoctoral Research Fellow)

Koreen Reece

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22a Buccleuch Place

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2020. 'Home and Away: Mobility and Care in Botswana's Time of AIDS.' In Spaces of Care, eds. Loraine Gelsthorpe, Perveez Mody, and Brian Sloan. Oxford: Hart Publishing. p. 201-217.

2019. ‘“We are Seeing Things”: Recognition, Risk, and Reproducing Kinship in Botswana’s Time of AIDS.’ Africa 89(1): 40-60.

2019. 'A Global Family: Kinship, Nations, and Transnational Organisations in Botswana's Time of AIDS.' In The Cambridge Handbook of Kinship, ed. Sandra Bamford. p. 675-699.

2019. With Janet Carsten, Hsiao-Chiao Chiu, Siobhan Magee, and Eirini Papadaki. 'Talking about Kinship.' Anthropology of this Century 24.


2016.  With Stephen McConnachie and John Harries. ‘Introduction. Unfamiliar Edinburgh: Being and Becoming in the City.’ The Unfamiliar 6 (1): 9-13. [Student-driven collection of ethnographic work derived from the undergraduate course Ethnography: Theory and Practice.]

Book Reviews

2017. ‘Jean Hunleth’s Children as Caregivers: The Global Fight against Tuberculosis and HIV in Zambia.Durham Centre for Medical Anthropology.

2016. ‘Margaret Peacock’s Innocent Weapons: The Soviet and American Politics of Childhood in the Cold War.Allegra Laboratory. Published online 18/08/2016.

Research interests

Research interests

Kinship, Marriage, Care, Crisis, HIV and AIDS, Children and childhood, International development, Humanitarianism, NGOs, Social work, Botswana, Southern Africa

I conduct research on kinship in Botswana, in the context of one of the world's worst AIDS epidemics, and one of its most extensive, long-standing public health and social welfare interventions. Drawing on extensive professional experience in non-governmental organisations and government agencies, my research links the anthropologies of kinship, public health, development, humanitarianism, and the state to seek novel perspectives on intransigent social issues and on social change.

I am currently a Postdoctoral Research Fellow on the European Research Council-funded project, ‘A Global Anthropology of Transforming Marriage’ (PI Janet Carsten). I am investigating how marriage in Botswana has changed during the country's AIDS epidemic, and what socio-political changes are sought and wrought through marriage in turn.

I am also completing a monograph entitled An Ordinary Crisis? Kinship in Botswana's Time of AIDS (International African Library, Cambridge University Press). Challenging prevalent academic and policy assumptions about the breakdown of the family in the context of AIDS, it demonstrates that crisis and conflict cosntitute kin relationships, rather than disrupting or destroying them. Interventions launched in response to the epidemic frequently align well with kinship practice and ideals, but misread the creative potential for conflict, threatening to rework Tswana kinship and personhood in more profound ways than the epidemic itself. The monograph is based on my doctoral thesis, which was awarded the Outstanding Thesis Award for Edinburgh’s School of Social and Political Science (2015).

Future research plans include an ethnographic study of social work practice in Botswana, and the ways it manages and shapes change around the climate crisis - particularly through its interventions in families.

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