• nading headshot
Assistant Professor




View my CV here.

I am a medical and environmental anthropologist with a regional focus on Latin America. Most of my fieldwork has taken place in a low-income suburb of Managua, Nicaragua, but I have also done research in Puerto Rico, Cuba, and the United States.  I teach courses on the environment and ecological thought in anthropology; medical anthropology; contemporary Latin America; and social anthropology.  

I came to anthropology via the most conventional of routes: an introductory undergraduate course.  I was delightfully confused.  Many years later, I am still pursuing the basic questions that my undergraduate professors raised about the body, the nonhuman world, and how we live with them.  Here at F&M, I am always keen to work with students interested in health, questions of nature and culture, science and technology, and bioethics.

In academic year 2013-2014, I will be on leave from F&M while I hold a Fernand Braudel Fellowship in the Interdisciplinary Chair in Global Health, located in the Collège d’Etudes Mondiale, Fondation Maison des Sciences de l’Homme, in Paris, France.


B.A. Anthropology and English, University of Virginia

M.A. Anthropology of Development and Social Transformation, University of Sussex (UK)

Ph.D. Anthropology, University of Wisconsin-Madison


I study the entanglement of bodies and landscapes, and I am particularly interested in how science, technology, gender, and politics inform that entanglement.  My projects examine the role of small things – particularly insects, bacteria, and viruses – in broad natural and social processes.  

Since 2006, I have been doing ethnographic fieldwork in and around Managua, Nicaragua on infectious disease (particularly dengue fever) and community health.  More recently, I have worked in Nicaragua, the Caribbean, and the United States investigating the development of genetically modified organisms for global dengue prevention and the changing significance of the "microbiome" both in global health and in Nicaraguans' conceptions of the body and the environment.  

You can read more about my research and publications at www.alexnading.com.

Grants & Awards

2013.       Hunt Postdoctoral Fellowship, Wenner-Gren Foundation for Anthropological Research  

2013.       Fernand Braudel Fellow. Fondation Maison des sciences de l'homme, Paris, France.

2009.       National Science Foundation Doctoral Dissertation Improvement Grant

2008-09.   Social Science Research Council International Dissertation Research Fellowship.

2007-08.   Fulbright-Hays Doctoral Dissertation Research Award    



2014. Mosquito Trails: Ecology, Health, and the Politics of Entanglement. Oakland, CA: University of California Press. More here.

Peer-Reviewed Journal Articles

2014. "The Lively Ethics of Global Health GMOs: The Case of the Oxitec Mosquito." BioSocieties. Article here.

2013. "Humans, Animals, and Health: From Ecology to Entanglement." Environment and Society: Advances in Research. 4(1): 60-78. Article here.

2013. “’Love Isn’t There in Your Stomach:’ A Moral Economy of Medical Citizenship among Nicaraguan Community Health Workers,” Medical Anthropology Quarterly 27(1): 84-102. Article here.

2012. “’Dengue Mosquitoes are Single Mothers:’ Biopolitics Meets Ecological Aesthetics in Nicaraguan Community Health Work,” Cultural Anthropology 27(4): 572-596.  Article here.

2011 “Foundry Values: Artisanal Aluminum Recyclers, Economic Involution, and Skill in Periurban Managua” Urban Anthropology 40(3-4): 319-360.  Article here.

Other Publications

2014. "Bleach," Part of "Commonplaces," an online collection at somatosphere.net, curated by Tomas Matza and Harris Solomon, Article here.


Course Information

Fall 2014

Social Anthropology

Anthropology of Central America

Anthropological Methods