School of Social and Political Science

Dr Laurie Denyer Willis

Job Title

Lecturer in Medical Anthropology

Image of Laurie Denyer Willis smiling/black and white

Room number


Building (Address)

Chrystal Macmillan Building

Street (Address)

15A George Square

City (Address)


Country (Address)


Research interests

Research interests

Religion, bodies and governance, capitalism & affect, feminist politics, post-colonialism, multimodality, Sensory Politics, Politics of Global Health, AMR, Suburbanism



Laurie Denyer Willis is a medical anthropologist at the University of Edinburgh, using sensory ethnographic methods to understand religious experience, right-wing populism, religious feminisms, and the politics of global health. 

Her first book, Go with God: Political Exhaustion and Evangelical Possibility in Suburban Brazil (University of California Press, 2023), grapples with the turn to Evangelicalism in Rio, and the kinds of conflicting promises, desires, deceptions and manipulations that go along with Evangelical faith and right-wing populist expansion in the city. 


For the past few years, Laurie has been working on a collaborative project with anthropologists in Kampala, Uganda and Bangkok, Thailand, through the project Antimicrobials In Society (AMIS) at LSHTM. For Laurie, this work has entailed a deepening understanding of the politics of irrationality that governs approaches to antibiotic access and use amidst broader global health concerns with antibiotic resistance (AMR). 

Laurie currently co-directs the Feminist Cities CoLab, funded by the British Academy, with a focus on contemporary feminist activism and urban violence in Latin America. 

You can get in touch at

Laurie competed her PhD in Medical Anthropology at McGill, and her MSc at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in Urban Studies and Planning.

I am accepting PhD students. Please email me to discuss your research proposal. 

Works within

Staff Hours and Guidance

Office Hours: Every Monday 3pm - 5pm in CMB 1.07, starting January 29th (no appointment necessary. just drop by)

Publications by user content

Publication Research Explorer link
Denyer Willis L. Go with God: Political Exhaustion and Evangelical Possibility in Suburban Brazil. 1st ed. University of California Press, 2023. 174 p. (Atelier: Ethnographic Inquiry in the Twenty-First Century).
Nayiga S, Denyer Willis L, Staedke SG, Chandler CIR. Taking opportunities, taking medicines: Antibiotic use in rural Eastern Uganda. Medical Anthropology: Cross Cultural Studies in Health and Illness. 2022 May 19;41(4):418-430. Epub 2022 Mar 24. doi: 10.1080/01459740.2022.2047676
Dixon J, Macpherson EE, Nayiga S, Manyau S, Nabirye C, Kayendeke M et al. Antibiotic stories: A mixed-methods, multi-country analysis of household antibiotic use in Malawi, Uganda and Zimbabwe. BMJ Global Health. 2021 Nov 26;6(11):1-15. e006920. doi: 10.1136/bmjgh-2021-006920
Nabirye C, Denyer Willis L, Nayiga S, Kayendeke M, Staedke SG, Chandler CIR. Antibiotic ‘entanglements’: Health, labour and everyday life in an urban informal settlement in Kampala, Uganda. Critical Public Health. 2021 Nov 8. Epub 2021 Nov 8. doi: 10.1080/09581596.2021.1994526
Denyer Willis L. In attention to pain: Governance and bodies in Brazil. Medical Anthropology: Cross Cultural Studies in Health and Illness. 2020 May 18;39(4):348-360. Epub 2020 Apr 20. doi: 10.1080/01459740.2020.1740216
Hyde ST, Denyer Willis L. Balancing the quotidian: Precarity, care and pace in anthropology’s storytelling. Medical Anthropology: Cross Cultural Studies in Health and Illness. 2020 May 18;39(4):297-304. Epub 2020 Apr 13. doi: 10.1080/01459740.2020.1739673
Denyer Willis L (Artist). The file story Society for Cultural Anthropology. 2019.
Denyer Willis L, Chandler C. Quick fix for care, productivity, hygiene and inequality: Reframing the entrenched problem of antibiotic overuse. BMJ Case Reports. 2019 Aug 15;4(4):1-6. e001590. doi: 10.1136/bmjgh-2019-001590
Dixon J, MacPherson E, Manyau S, Nayiga S, Khine Zaw Y, Kayendeke M et al. The ‘Drug Bag’ method: Lessons from anthropological studies of antibiotic use in Africa and South-East Asia. Global Health Action . 2019;12(1):1-11. 1639388. Epub 2019 Jul 24. doi: 10.1080/16549716.2019.1639388
Willis LD. "It smells like a thousand angels marching": The salvific sensorium in Rio de Janeiro's western subúrbios. Cultural Anthropology. 2018 May 1;33(2):325-349. doi: 10.14506/ca33.2.10