Dear MAYS members!

We’d like to welcome Chandni Shyam from the University of Utrecht, Netherlands to the post of MAYS Coordinator for the years 2021-2023.

Chandni will be taking over from Anthony Rizk and will be co-coordinating with Magdalena Góralska. We are very much looking forward to Chandni’s enthusiasm and contributions to the MAYS network and her ideas for its development!

In case you missed it, this was her application statement:


I have a long standing interest in medical anthropology, especially in narratives that are essential but overlooked. I have worked extensively on gender and mental healthcare as a Reserach Associate at IIT Madras. During this time, I also worked briefly on the unequal attention paid to affective labour of mental healthcare nurses in Indian hospitals. Right now, I am working on a second masters for which I have been doing fieldwork on Covid-19 vaccinations in Chennai and the ways in which information about the state and vaccines work towards compliance. I truly believe that healthcare has to be universally available and culturally sensitive. Furthermore, my own lived experience as a cancer survivor has helped expand my scopes of what medical anthropology can do.


I have organised many events, both online and offline at numerous instances of my academic career. More importantly, I have always worked on creating and nurturing a community of learners. For example, I am a core team member of the Students for Cultural Anthropology Journal, which is a student initiative to foster peer review. My work with the journal stems from the belief that community is really important for thriving in academia. After all, whatever we write is on the back of many before us and for those with and after us. I also think that there is a lot of scope for collaborative and experimental learning in medical anthropology. My explorations in writing literary ethnography and quantitative ethnography have been fruitful in this regard but I really need a good community for learning and growing with.


I would like to increase the social media presence of MAYS through reading groups and field discussions. It would also be interesting to have coffee talks online and offline that can give open up space for learning about new ethnographic explorations in medical anthropology.

Congratulations again, Chandni!

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