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Cheryl B. Mwaria

Professor of Anthropology


PHD, 1985, Columbia University; MA, 1974, Columbia University; MPH, 1974, Columbia University; BA, 1970, University of Pennsylvania


Cheryl Mwaria received her Ph.D from Columbia University in 1985.  Currently, Dr. Mwaria is a Professor of Anthropology and Chair of the Department of Anthropology at Hofstra University. 

As a medical anthropologist she has conducted fieldwork in Kenya, Botswana, Namibia, the Caribbean and the United States writing on bioethics, women’s health, race relations and differential access to health care.  She served on the National Academy of Sciences Committee to establish the scientific guidelines for Human Embryonic Stem Cell research (hESC). She has also served on the executive boards of the American Anthropological Association, the American Ethnological Society, and the Society for the Study of Anthropology of North America and the Association of Feminist Anthropology.  She was an invited participant in the American Anthropological Association Race Project Conference on Race, Human Variation, and Disease:  Consensus and Frontiers. She has written on minority access to cancer-related clinical trials: “From Conspiracy Theories to Clinical Trials:  Questioning the Role of Race and Culture versus Racism and Poverty in Medical Decision-Making” in Gender, Race, Class & Health.

Her current work is on cross-cultural approaches to the use of preimplantation genetic diagnosis.  She served as a member of the Center for Urban Bioethics at the New York Academy of Medicine.  She is currently Chair of the Board of the Africa Network, a nonprofit consortium of liberal arts colleges committed to literacy about and concern for Africa in Americans higher education.

Teaching Interests

Medical Anthropology

Research Interests

Race, Human Reproduction, African diaspora

Recent Courses Taught

Course Title Level
ANTH 004 (BH, CC) WORLD CULTURES Undergraduate
ANTH 137 (BH) RACEÐ ANTH PERSPV Undergraduate
ANTH 145 GNDR, SEX & SEXUALITY Undergraduate
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