WORCESTER, Mass. — Ellen Foley, assistant professor of International Development and Social Change at Clark University’s Department of International Development,Community and Environment, has received an award from the U.S. Fulbright Scholar African Regional Research Program to support her research on the cultural, economic, and health implications of changing trends in marriage, gender roles and sexual norms in urban Senegal. She was one of only 10 scholars in the United States to receive a fellowship through the African Regional Research Program.
Professor Foley is a medical anthropologist whose research explores the intersection of global health policies, national health priorities and the household politics of managing ill health in marginalized communities. She has conducted extensive research in Senegal; her forthcoming book Your Pocket is What Cures You: The Politics of Health in Senegal (Rutgers University Press 2010) examines the gendered effects of neoliberal development policies and health sector reform. Foley has conducted research among African immigrants in Philadelphia and Worcester, analyzing health disparities and access to health resources, particularly access to HIV/AIDS prevention information, testing and treatment.
Foley will be in Senegal from September 2009 through May 2010 to continue her research project titled “Sex in the City: Gender Relations amidst Social Crisis in Urban Senegal.” The project addresses the social construction of gender and sexuality in the context of shifting marital patterns and transactional sex in Dakar. Her research will evaluate health and development efforts targeting registered and clandestine sex workers.
Foley has been a contributor to Clark’s work with the aids 2013 initiative, a worldwide consortium developing strategies in the fight against HIV/AIDS. Clark hosts the Project Management Unit overseeing nine working groups. She participates in the Social Drivers Group, which examines the underlying social, political and cultural injustices that allow AIDS to thrive in certain areas of the world. She helped facilitate a series of community dialogues in Dakar, Senegal, in 2008 aimed at soliciting the views of youth and sex workers on Senegal’s HIV/AIDS policies and programs.