Kathryn Rhine, PhD, MA

Associate Professor
Director of the Arts & Humanities in Healthcare Program

Kathryn Rhine portraitemail:   Kathryn.Rhine@cuanschutz.edu
phone:  (401) 688-6565
office:   Fulginiti Rm. 206

As a critical medical anthropologist, Kathryn Rhine examines how epidemiological and social processes converge to render certain people and households vulnerable, blending political economic theories with analyses of deeply intimate experiences of illness, suffering, love, and faith. Her monograph, The Unseen Things: Women, Secrecy, and HIV in Northern Nigeria (2016, Indiana University Press), traces how the structural forces of the epidemic contour the everyday worlds of individuals living with HIV. It elucidates the skillful ways in which HIV-positive women attempt to deceive others by masking their diagnosis, symptoms, and treatment, while at the same time conspicuously displaying their material wealth, their desirability, and their health—even when these assets may in fact be fictions. Secrecy, she suggests, is not the passive withholding of information, but rather an active set of practices that HIV-positive women employ in their attempt to secure
wellbeing and a sense of hope for the future. 

Kathryn Rhine comes to the Center for Bioethics and Humanities from the University of Kansas, where she was an associate professor of African & African-American Studies and Geography & Atmospheric Science. She earned her Ph.D. in Anthropology from Brown University in 2010, where she received a unique education with affiliations in both the Population Studies & Training Center and the Cogut Center for the Humanities. These ties cemented her interests in humanistic approaches to medicine and population health. Over the past several years, Rhine won close to $700,000 in institutional and individual grant funding to initiate several health humanities projects at the University of Kansas. Crosscutting research, curriculum development, and the public humanities, these awards have come from the Mellon Foundation, the Consortium for Humanities Centers and Institutes (CHCI) and the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH), among others.
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