Chidi Ugwu teaches anthropology and qualitative methods in the University of Nigeria, Nsukka, and is a guest lecturer in the University of Melbourne’s School of Population and Global Health. His research concerns the asymmetries of knowledge and power in the fields of public health, politics, and religion.
During his fellowship year, Ugwu is working on an ethnographic study that explores how practitioners of complementary and alternative forms of medicine navigate the challenges of patronage thrust upon them in the post-colonial context. Results of the study will be an important lens through which to view changes happening to local systems, which remain relevant despite the hefty pressures from the current global order initiated by European imperialism, as well as the subtle patterns in which these local systems adjust and shape-shift to remain “their authentic selves” amid Eurocentric modernity.
Ugwu has published in American Anthropologist, Ethnography, the Journal of Asian and African Studies, the Lancet, and the Qualitative Report. He has received grants from the American Council of Learned Societies, the Wenner-Gren Foundation, and the International Development Research Centre. In 2018, a consortium comprising the African-German Network of Excellence in Science (AGNES), the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation, and the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research named him among seven most promising early-career scholars in Africa. In 2020, the World Academy of Sciences selected him for a research cooperation visit to Universität Hamburg (on hold due to COVID-19). He holds a PhD in medical anthropology.