David Deterding

Wan Zawawi Ibrahim

Associate Professors

Ampuan Hj Brahim bin Ampuan Hj Tengah

Hj Asbol bin Hj Mail

Gary Jones

Khondker Iftekhar Iqbal

Andrew Kythreotis

Noor Azam OKMB Haji-Othman

Ahsan Ullah

Senior Assistant Professors

Debbie Ho

Johannes L. Kurz

James McLellan

Assistant Professors

Hjh Asiyah Az-Zahra bte Hj Ahmad Kumpoh

Kathrina bte DP Haji Mohd Daud

Lalit Dagar

Magne Knudsen

Paul Deyuan He

Rommel Curaming

Rui Oliveira Lopes

Md Shafi Noor Islam

Yong Liu

Senior Lecturers

Aini binti Hj Karim

Chris Woo

Hj Ramlee bin Hj Tinkong

Hjh Dyg Fatimah binti Hj Awang Chuchu

Martie Geiger-Ho

Salbrina Hj Sharbawi

Sharifah Nurul Huda Alkaff

Yabit Alas


Ak Hj Ashrol Rahimy bin Pg Hj Damit

Asmali Hj Sulaiman

Chester Keasberry

Daniel Wee

Dk Noor Hasharina bte Pg Haji Hassan

Ena Herni binti Wasli

Gabriel Yong

Hannah Ho Ming Yit

Hjh Aznah binti Hj Suhaimi

Izni Azrein bin Noor Azalie

Khairunnisa Haji Ibrahim

Low Kok Wai

Mardina binti Hj Mahadi

Maslin bin Haji Jukin/Jukim

Mohd. Zefri Ariff bin Mohd. Zain Ariff

Nani Suryani binti Hj Abu Bakar

Norzurianie Hj Kamarulzaman

Pg Hj Mohamed Pg Damit

Rinni Marliyana binti Hj Amran

Shirley Chin

Siti Mazidah binti Hj Mohamad

Assistant Lecturers

Mayyer Ling


Exzayrani binti Awang Sulaiman

Pg Mohd Rahiman Pg Aliudin

Siti Badriyah Hj Mohd Yusof

Siti Ifwah Fauzani binti Hj Chuchu

Administrative Staff

FASS Administrative Staff

Research Students

FASS PhD Students


Md. Saiful Islam


Room(s) 2.15
Phone 2056
Website -

Academic Qualifications

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:

Teaching Modules



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.