Dina Asfaha | People

Dina Asfaha

Dina Asfaha

Postdoctoral Associate






Dina M. Asfaha trained as an anthropologist at the University of Pennsylvania. Dina's work engages African studies, medical anthropology, and science and technology studies (STS) to explore statecraft and sovereignty; medicine, the state, and global health; clinical practices and scientific expertise, infrastructure, and innovation in Africa and the African diaspora. Her dissertation research focuses on the relationship between sovereignty and medicine in Eritrea and is the first scholarly treatment of the medical infrastructure that delivered victory in Eritrea’s liberation struggle against imperial Ethiopia (1961-1991) -- the longest war in modern African history. Dina’s research yields insights about understandings of medicine and governance in Eritrea as a critique of colonial rule and the repercussions of this political project amid competing geopolitical agendas in the Horn of Africa.


medical anthropology, science and technology studies, infrastructure, sovereignty, sustainability, development, economic practices and collective cooperation, Horn of Africa, African/a studies, Black studies


2023 Owens, Kellie, Pamela Sankar, Dina M. Asfaha. 2023. “How Clinicians Conceptualize ‘Actionability’ in Genomic Screening.” Journal of Personalized Medicine, 12 (x).


Africa and the Politics of Knowledge

Considers how, despite its immense diversity, Africa continues to hold purchase as both a geographical entity and meaningful knowledge category. Examines the relationship between articulations of "Africa" and projects like European imperialism, developments in the biological sciences, African de-colonization and state-building, and the imagining of the planet's future. Readings in anthropology and history are organized around five themes: space and place, race, representation, self-determination, and time.


2018 (Honorable Mention) Ford Foundation Pre-Doctoral Dissertation Fellowship
2017 UPenn Benjamin Franklin/William Fontaine Fellowship
2016 Jack Kent Cooke Graduate Scholar
2014 Andrew W. Mellon/Benjamin E. Mays Undergraduate Research Fellowship (MMUF)



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