On June 22, the Graduate Summer Fellows had a lunch discussion with Joseph Harris, an assistant professor of Sociology and a Faculty Research Fellow at the Frederick S. Pardee Center for the Study of the Longer-Range Future. Prof. Harris gave an overview of his research on the “social determinants of health” — such as class, race, gender, and education — and on universal healthcare in developing countries. He also talked about his research into how resource-constrained countries, particularly Thailand, are able to influence international policy on development and public health. A wide-ranging discussion with the Summer Fellows followed, touching on the balance of practice and theory, the challenges of communicating research to interdisciplinary audiences, and Prof. Harris’ career path.
As a Pardee Center Faculty Research Fellow, Prof. Harris is convening the first National Conference on Global Health and the Social Sciences, which will bring together anthropologists, sociologists, and political scientists working on global health from around the nation and the world. The conference is intended to expose the participants to colleagues from other disciplines, to new ideas, and to provide the opportunity for scholars to create new research pathways.
Prof. Harris was the recipient of the 2017 Gitner Award for Distinguished Teaching in the College of Arts & Sciences. He was also recently awarded a 2017-18 Fulbright Fellowship to conduct his research on the global diffusion of public health in Thailand. His forthcoming book from Cornell University Press, titled Achieving Access: Professional Movements and the Politics of Health Universalism, is scheduled for publication in September.