Kellogg Institute Faculty Fellow Natalie Porter is Assistant Professor of Anthropology. Porter is a medical anthropologist specializing in multispecies anthropology and the anthropology of science, technology, and medicine. Her research explores how pandemic disease threats are transforming scientific knowledge and public health practice worldwide.

Natalie is currently writing a book entitled, Viral Economies: An Ethnography of Bird Flu in Vietnam, which traces several bird flu interventions from their inception in multinational policy arenas through to their implementation in poultry farming communities. The book explores the exchange of resources at different sites of bird flu intervention in order to signal emerging tensions between the resolutely “public” ethos of global health and the increasingly proprietary devices of bio-security. Natalie is also carrying out a research project that analyses scientists’ ongoing efforts to regulate experiments on highly pathogenic viruses. 

Before joining the faculty at Notre Dame, Natalie held positions at the University of Freiburg and the University of New Hampshire. She was also a postdoctoral fellow at the Institute for Science, Innovation & Society at the University of Oxford.

Thematic Interests

Medical anthropology; science and technology studies; multispecies ethnography; biopolitics; property; pandemics

Current Research

A book project, “Viral Economies: Bird Flu Control and Global Health Experiments beyond the Human,” traces bird flu interventions from the multinational policy arena to their implementation in Vietnamese farming communities, exploring tensions between the “public” ethos of global health and the proprietary devices inherent in livestock economies and bio-security regimes. Other research analyses scientists’ efforts to regulate experiments on pathogenic viruses.