Lenore Manderson

Lenore Manderson is an Australian, now Distinguished Professor of Public Health and Medical Anthropology at the University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg, South Africa. She is known internationally for her work on inequality, marginality, and infectious and chronic diseases in Australia, Southeast and East Asia, and South Africa. She began to work on her book, Surface Tensions: Surgery, Bodily Boundaries and the Social Self (2011), on the impact of dramatic changes to the body, before the ruptured nerve that features in this piece. Her most recent coedited books are Viral Loads: Anthropologies of Urgency in the time of COVID (2021), focusing on how the pandemic exploited and exacerbated inequality, and with Forrest Gander, an anthology of creative non-fiction and poetry, Water's Edge: Writing on Water (2022).

Posts by This Author


Theorizing the Contemporary


When I performed Beckett’s Not I in 1982, my face and neck were painted black, my lips stark white, amplifying the surrealism of the text, presentation, and sta... More