Md. Saiful Islam
PhD (Medical Anthropology), National University of Singapore (NUS), 2010
MPhil (Anthropology), Chinese University of Hong Kong, 2005
MSS (Anthropology), University of Dhaka, Bangladesh 1997
BSS (Anthropology), University of Dhaka, Bangladesh, 1996
Background and Research Interest
I am a medical anthropologist. My journey with anthropology started at the University of Dhaka, Bangladesh from where I graduated with a Bachelor and a first class Master degree in Anthropology in 1997. Later on in 2002, I went to the Department of Anthropology, the Chinese University of Hong Kong to pursue an MPhil degree. The award of a Research Scholarship and a President’s Graduate Fellowship eased my PhD study at The National University of Singapore, and I obtained the PhD in 2010. Prior to joining UBD, I taught at the Universities of Dhaka and Rajshahi in Bangladesh and the Department of Sociology at the National University of Singapore as a full-time Teaching Assistant.
My research interest specifically focuses on how lay individuals understand and explain issues of health and illness within the broader socio-cultural and political-economic frameworks, and the ways such understandings shape health-seeking behavior and response to mitigation efforts. My perception of health and disease is not just restricted within the biomedical, physiological and clinical conditions; rather I go beyond these to see how illness is actually experienced, explained and responded to by lay individuals in dynamic socio-historical, political-economic, ecological, and bio-political contexts. The following areas are of my particular research interests:
- Socio-cultural and behavioral dimensions of emerging diseases, such as SARS, Avian Flu, Arsenicosis, HIV/AIDS
- Cultural understanding of chronic illnesses, such as obesity, diabetes, cardiovascular diseases
- Aging, health and politics
- Transnational migration and health
- Medical systems
- Anthropology of health, environment and sustainable development
- Making Sense of Society
- Psychosocial Challenges of Living with Diabetes (For BHSc Programme at the Institute of Health Sciences)
- Medical Anthropology (For MPH Programme at the Institute of Health Sciences)
Islam, S. (Accepted for publication with Palgrave MacMillan) Pursing Alternative Development: Indigenous People, Ethnic Organization and Agency. London, New York: Palgrave MacMillan.
Islam, S. (Manuscript sent to Routledge South Asia Series) Arsenic and the poisoned paradise: Mediating culture, health and development. London, New York: Routledge.
(Manuscript in preparation) Culture and diabetes in Malay context: Medical anthropological perspective. We are currently working on this book manuscript in collaboration with a Professor of Sociology, International Islamic University Malaysia. This manuscript draws on data from our recently completed research project on diabetes in Southeast Asia funded by UBD.
Refereed Journal Articles
(2014). Poisoned blood, ghaa and the infected body: Lay understandings of arsenicosis in rural Bangladesh. Medical Anthropology: Cross-cultural Studies in Health and Illness, Vol. 33(5): 441-456.
(2014). On anthropological fieldwork: Does fieldwork experience matter in writing postmodern ethnography? The Anthropologist, 17(2): 327-332.
(2013). From science through art to literary and discursive interpretation: Anthropology from its classical to contemporary trajectory. Asian Social Science, Vol. 9(11): 148-154.
(2012). “Health for all or health for some?” Healthcare provisions and financing in Bangladesh and India: A comparative analysis. Harvard Asia Quarterly, Vol. 14(4): 74-83.
(2012). Does microcredit help promote development and peace at the household level in Bangladesh? Research Journal of Social Science and Management, Vol. 2(2): 14-19.
(2010). Indigenous people, NGOs and the politics of alternative development discourse in Bangladesh. Dhaka University Journal of Development Studies, Vol. 1: 79-89.
(2005). Oscillating between marginality and modernity: Transitional Oraon cultural milieu of northwest Bangladesh. South Asian Anthropologist, Vol. 5 (2): 179-185.
(2004). “Who benefits, how benefits”: The political economy of Grameen Bank’s microcredit programme in rural Bangladesh. Indian Journal of Social Development, Vol. 4: 1-17.
(2003). Acculturation and identity crisis: An anthropological study on the Gorrat community of barind tract in Bangladesh. South Asian Anthropologist, Vol. 3: 5-17.
(Forthcoming) “What makes culture relevant in public health? Understanding health and illness from South Asian Context” – Article is now ready to be submitted to a suitable journal.
(Forthcoming) “Understanding development and underdevelopment: Sociological reflections” – looking for a suitable journal to submit this article.
(Forthcoming with Abdullah, H) Fabrics that weave stories: Pua Kumba and contemporary Iban identity in Sarawak, Malaysia – Under review with Asia Pacific Journal of Anthropology (Monash University).
Selected Book Reviews
(2010). Medicine and medical policies in India: Social and historical perspectives by Poonam Bala. Asian Journal of Social Science, Vol. 39: 657–666.
(2008). Ethnic identity and religion in the India-Bangladesh borderlands by Antu Saha. Asian Anthropology, Vol. 7: 174-177.
(2005). Migration, land alienation and ethnic conflict: Causes of poverty in Chittagong hill tracts in Bangladesh by Shapan Adnan. Copenhagen Journal of Asian Studies, Vol. 20: 111-116.
- Research Scholarship (2005-2010), Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences, National University of Singapore (NUS), Singapore.
- President’s Graduate Fellowship (2005-2007), National University of Singapore (NUS), Singapore.
- Postgraduate Research Scholarship (2002-2004), Faculty of Social Sciences, The Chinese University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong.
- Doctoral Fieldwork Research Grant (2007), FASS, National University of Singapore (NUS), Singapore.
- Fieldwork Research Support Grant (2003), Department of Anthropology, The Chinese University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong.