Elise Andaya

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Elise L. Andaya is a cultural anthropologist who is currently employed as an Associate Professor of Anthropology by the University of Albany[1] which is the state university of New York. Andaya studies medical Anthropology and gender Anthropology[1] and focuses on the effects of gender and citizenship on reproduction and access to healthcare in Cuba and the United States.[2] She attended New York University in New York City, New York. She previously was on the Research Development Committee for the American Anthropological Association,[3] and was a member at large for them from 2014-2017.[4]


Research Conducted in Cuba[edit]

In Cuba Elise Andaya focused on how the fall of the Soviet Union effected economics and ideals and in turn how they changed views on reproduction, gender, and kinship strategies as well as prenatal care.[1][2] Andaya interviewed lay people as well as medically trained professionals. She visited neighborhood clinics and attended consultations pertaining to reproduction. The objective of her research was to explore the way changes in politics and economics effect families and reproduction. Her research culminated multiple publications. In April 2014[5] her book "Conceiving Cuba: Reproduction, Women, and the State in the Post-Soviet Era"[1] was published by Rutgers University Press,[5] and is taught at Princeton University in the class "Medicine and Society in Contemporary Cuba".[6]

In 2007 she published her dissertation "Reproducing the Revolution: Gender, Kinship, in Contemporary Cuba". Her dissertation argues that Cuba's struggling economy is connected to low fertility rates. She asserts that the government's lack of care, men's general indifference toward children, and the difficulty of obtaining contraceptives cause women to seek abortions.[7] In 2009 her article "The Gift of Health" was published.[8] This article discussed how larger changes in socialism effect the care of patients. Andaya argues that due to the destabilization of the Cuban Government, healthcare no longer follows the socialist idea of egalitarianism, instead it is based on small "gifts" given as payment for the doctor. Andaya argues that this represents the beginning of a market economy.[9]

Andaya's work was reviewed by Latin American Politics & Society which wrote that her "study succeeds in giving us a subtle and complex picture (which broad-brush approaches cannot) of how the complicated, and often contradictory politics and policies of reproduction emerged in Cuba after 1959."[10] The Journal of Pan African Studies writes that Andaya's book, Conceiving Cuba: Reproduction, Women, and the State in the Post-Soviet Era, "considers not only how socialist policies have profoundly affected the ways Cuban families imagine the future, but also how the current crisis in reproduction has deeply influenced ordinary Cubans' views on socialism and the future of the revolution."[11]

Research Conducted in New York[edit]

She recently conducted a five year observation period of the practices surrounding breast feeding in Bronx, New York City. She focused on one public hospital to observe and examined how health care and health-seeking[5] for women who work in low-paying service-center jobs was affected by time and scheduling issues. She is currently working with social scientists to synthesize the information she collected.[2]


In April 2004 she was awarded a grant from the Wenner-Gren Foundation to do research for her dissertation.[12] She conducted participant observation in Havana, Cuba for her dissertation: "Reproducing the Revolution: Gender, Kinship, and the State in Contemporary Cuba", which was supervised by Dr. Rayna Rapp.[1][12][13]


  • "Conceiving Cuba: Reproduction, Women, and the State in the Post-Soviet Era" received the title of best book about reproduction in 2014 from the Adele E. Clark Book Awards.[14][15]
  • "Conceiving Cuba: Reproduction, Women, and the State in the Post-Soviet Era" received an honorable mention for a first book in feminist Anthropology from the Michelle Z. Rosoldo Prize.[16]


  1. ^ a b c d e "Elise Andaya, Alumni, Anthropology | New York University". anthropology.as.nyu.edu. Retrieved 2017-02-22. 
  2. ^ a b c "Elise L. Andaya - University at Albany-SUNY". www.albany.edu. Retrieved 2017-02-22. 
  3. ^ "2015 Annual Meeting". aaa.confex.com. Retrieved 2017-02-24. 
  4. ^ "AFA Officers | Association for Feminist Anthropology". afa.americananthro.org. Retrieved 2017-02-24. 
  5. ^ a b c "notes on contributors". Feminist Studies. 39 (3): 822–824. 2013-01-01. JSTOR 23719438. 
  6. ^ University, Princeton. "Course Details « Office of the Registrar". registrar.princeton.edu. Retrieved 2017-02-24. 
  7. ^ Härkönen, Heidi (2015-06-01). "Negotiating desirability and material resources: changing expectations on men in post-Soviet Havana". Etnográfica. Revista do Centro em Rede de Investigação em Antropologia (vol. 19 (2)): 367–388. doi:10.4000/etnografica.4032. ISSN 0873-6561. 
  8. ^ "Elise Andaya - Publications". www.researchgate.net. Retrieved 2017-02-23. 
  9. ^ Lincoln, Martha (2010). "Something to Say Thank You". Anthropology Now. 2: 57–58. 
  10. ^ Kapcia, Antoni (2016-06-01). "Cuba Just Yesterday and Today: Negotiating Toward What, Exactly?". Latin American Politics and Society. 58 (2): 148–156. doi:10.1111/j.1548-2456.2016.00303.x. ISSN 1548-2456. (Subscription required (help)). 
  11. ^ "Conceiving Cuba: Reproduction, Women, and the State in the Post-Soviet Era". Journal of Pan African Studies. 8 (2): 330. July 2015 – via EBSCOhost. (Subscription required (help)). 
  12. ^ a b "Andaya, Elise | The Wenner-Gren foundation". www.wennergren.org. Retrieved 2017-02-23. 
  13. ^ Hamilton, Carrie (2016). "Conceiving Cuba: Reproduction, Women, and the State in the Post-Soviet Era (review)". New West Indian Guide. 90 (1): 137–138. doi:10.1163/22134360-09001027. 
  14. ^ "Announcing the winner of the 2015 Adele E. Clarke Book Award | H-Sci-Med-Tech | H-Net". networks.h-net.org. Retrieved 2017-04-03. 
  15. ^ "Graduate Student Honors and Awards, Anthropology | New York University". anthropology.as.nyu.edu. Retrieved 2017-02-24. 
  16. ^ "Michelle Rosaldo Book Prize Winners & interview | Association for Feminist Anthropology". afa.americananthro.org. Retrieved 2017-04-03. 

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