Dr Cynthia Hunter
Senior Lecturer, Anthropology and International Public Health
+61 2 9036 5045
I was born in Western Australia and completed a Bachelor and Master of Arts degrees at the University of Western Australia, graduating in 1984. In that same year I moved to Sydney and, after a brief contract at the University of Sydney, I worked on a Social Sciences project in Indonesia, teaching anthropology to undergraduate students for almost two years. This experience stimulated my interest in medical anthropology. On return to Sydney, I went on to complete my PhD at the University of Newcastle in 1996. I undertook two years of fieldwork in Indonesia, on medical pluralism on the island of Lombok. From 1998 – 2004 I had a series of academic positions teaching senior and postgraduate courses including: Master of Applied Anthropology and Development Studies (Macquarie); Medical Anthropology, Urban Anthropology, Society and Culture in South-East Asia (Macquarie); Indonesian Cultures: Bali to Borneo, South-East Asia Exemplary Studies, Making of the Third World (Sydney); Health and Culture (School of Public Health, Sydney); and Sex and Sexuality in South Asia (Western Sydney). During this time I undertook several health related consultancies : AusAID, the Medical Officer and Allied Health Project (MONAHP) in Papua New Guinea and Ford Foundation on Displaced Migration in Indonesia. From 2005 - 2008 I held a Senior Research Fellow position in which I worked for over a year as an ethnographer in two major paediatric hospitals in Australia.
I am interested in ethnographic research which informs the theoretical and pragmatic understandings of medicine and healing, health and development, power, locality and socio-cultural change. I have researched and published on medical pluralism, cultural identity and citizenship in Lombok, the trauma, lack of citizenship and displaced identities of local displacement, and of failed asylum seekers residing in Indonesia. In Australia, my research has focused on the everyday interactional aspects of clinical teams in hospital ward scenarios , what constitutes critical events, how they develop and how teams learn ‘on the job’.
Through my current research, and through supervision of PhD students, I am a strong advocate of ethnographic research on public health issues in Australia, in Indonesia and the Asian subcontinent. My current hospital ethnography research in Jakarta provides a comparative perspective to my earlier hospital ethnography in Australia. My World Health Organization (WHO) funded research on Avian Influenza in Indonesia is spearheading an interest in investigating biocultural and biosocial community responses to zoonotic diseases.
- Ethnography as the major anthropological research method, process and product.
- The anthropological study of zoonotic diseases and the human response in the Asia Pacific region.
- Medical and hospital ethnography in high, middle and low income settings.
- The application of ethnographically based research and other qualitative health research designs in international and national public health issues issues.
- Anthropological research on contemporary Sasak society in Lombok
- Children and paediatrics
Refereed Journal Articles
- 2010 Titaley CR, Hunter CL, Heywood P, Dibley MJ. Why don't some women attend antenatal and postnatal care services? A qualitative study of community members' perspectives in Garut, Sukabumi and Ciamis districts of West Java Province, Indonesia. BMC Pregnancy and Childbirth 10:61
- 2010 Hunter, C., C. West. The challenge of positive outcomes for children with complex congenital conditions: Safety and continuity of care. Health Sociology Review Volume 19, (1) 87-100.
- 2010 Titaley CR, Hunter CL, Dibley MJ, Heywood P. Why do some women still prefer traditional birth attendants and home delivery? A qualitative study on delivery care services in West Java Province, Indonesia BMC Pregnancy and Childbirth 2010 10:43.
- 2008 Hunter, C., K. Spence & A. Scheinberg. ‘Untangling the web of critical incidents’: Ethnography in a paediatric setting Anthropology & Medicine 15(2): 91-103.
- 2008 Long, D., C. Hunter & S. van der Geest Introduction Anthropology & Medicine. Special Issue: “When the Field is a Ward or a Clinic: Hospital Ethnography” 15(2): 71-78).
- 2008 Hunter, C., K. Spence, K. McKenna & R. Iedema, Learning How We Learn: An Ethnographic Study In Neonatal ICU Journal of Advanced Nursing, 62 (6) 657-64.
- 2008 Finkler, K., C. Hunter, & R. Iedema Introduction Journal of Contemporary Ethnography Special Issue: "What Is Going On? Ethnography in Hospital Spaces". 37(2): 246-50.
- 2005 Hunter, C. The Struggle for Recognition: Failed Asylum Seekers to Australia. International Journal of the Humanities, Volume 2, Number 1. http://ijh.cgpublisher.com/product/pub.26/prod.204
- 2005 Hunter, C. The ‘people in between’: Indonesia and the Failed Asylum Seekers to Australia. RIMA 38(2):101-128.