IDCE Faculty

Marianne Sarkis, Ph.D.


Assistant Professor of International Development and Social Change

Phone: (508) 421-3898

  • Personal Website
  • International Development and Social Change
  • Office Hours: TBA


    • Ph.D. in Sociocultural Anthropology, Florida State University, 2010
      M.A. in Applied Medical Anthropology, University of South Florida, 2002
      B.A. in Anthropology and Philosophy, Indiana University of PA, 1993

    Research Interests

    Disparities in obstetric care, migration and identity, culture in clinical encounters, diasporic health, bioethics, demographic anthropology, Participatory Action Research (PAR), history of obstetrics, Somali history and culture, globalization and health, advocacy anthropology, Social Networks Analysis (SNA), rumors in health care, Arab culture and identity


    Marianne Sarkis is an applied medical anthropologist who is currently conducting research on the contentious relationship between African women refugees, health care professionals and biomedicine. Her research examines the link between acculturation, reproductive experiences, and strategies and fertility rates among African immigrants in Worcester, Massachusetts.

    Sarkis completed her dissertation on the reproductive health and experiences of African refugees and immigrants to the Worcester area, and the relationship between fertility rates and migration. She is also teaching ESL to women, conducting on-going health workshops, and building collaborative relationships between local hospitals and the African immigrant communities.

    In addition to her research, Sarkis worked as a software engineer and graphics designer in Silicon Valley, and continues to work as a web designer for national non-profits and advocacy organizations.

    Selected Publications

    2009     Somali Womanhood: A Re-Visioning. In Empathy and Rage: FGM in Creative Writing. Tobe Levin and Augustine Asaah, eds. Lynn Reiner Press.

    2008     Review of Hernlund, Y., and B. Shell-Duncan. 2007. Transcultural bodies: female genital cutting in global context. New Brunswick, N.J.: Rutgers University Press. Studies in Family Planning 39(3).

    2004     Female Cutting and Anthropology: What took us so long to come around? In Flesh and Blood: Perspectives on the Problem of Circumcision in Contemporary Society. G.C. Denniston, F.M. Hodges, and M.F. Milos, eds. Pp. 119-132. New York: Kluwer Academic/Plenum Publishers.

    1999     Activism on the World Wide Web: The role of the Internet in the dissemination of circumcision-related information. In Male and Female Circumcision: Medical, Legal, and Ethical Considerations in Pediatric Practice. G.C. Denniston, F.M. Hodges, and M.F. Milos, eds. Pp. 351-356. New York: Kluwer Academic/Plenum Publishers.

    Select Presentations

    2009     “’At least eight or ten children:’ The paradox of post-resettlement fertility among certain African communities in the USA”. Florida State University History and Anthropology Departments (Tallahassee, FL)

    2008     “If we have a daughter, we will never excise her”: Art, popular culture, and African resistance to FGM, College of the Holy Cross (Worcester, MA)

    2008     The use of music videos, films, and popular literature in drawing attention to FGM: A comparison between Arab/African and Western approaches – Florida State University International Film and Literature Conference (Tallahassee, FL)

    2006     Personhood in Motion: A Case Study of Refugee Identity in a Medical Context – American Anthropological Association (San Francisco, CA)

    2004     Female Genital Cutting: Issues and Concerns about Immigration and Asylum. International Women’s Symposium panelist sponsored by the College of Law at Florida State University (Tallahassee, FL)


    Community Development and Planning
    Ideologies of Race in Development
    Qualitative and Quantitative Research Methods

    International Development and Social Change
    Introduction to Socio-Cultural Anthropology
    Research Methods for International Development and Social Change
    Ideologies of Race in Development
    Qualitative and Quantitative Research Methods

    International Studies Stream
    Introduction to Socio-Cultural Anthropology

    Related Links

    Marianne Sarkis in the News

    IDCE in the News