Cristina A. Pop, "The Cancer Within: Reproduction, Cultural Transformation, and Health Care in Romania" (Rutgers UP, 2022)


In The Cancer Within: Reproduction, Cultural Transformation, and Health Care in Romania (Rutgers UP, 2022), Cristina Pop examines cervical cancer in Romania as a point of entry into an anthropological reflection on contemporary health care, especially in the post-communist context. Cervical cancer prevention reveals the inner workings of emerging post-communist medicine, which aligns the state and the market, public and private health care providers, policy makers, and ordinary women. Fashioned by patriarchal relations, lived religion, and the historical trauma of pronatalism, Romanian women’s responses to reproductive medicine and cervical cancer prevention are complicated by neoliberal reforms to medical care. Cervical cancer prevention – and especially the HPV vaccination – provided Romanians a legitimate instance to express their conflicting views of post-communist medicine. What sets Romania apart is that pronatalism, patriarchy, lived religion, medical reforms, and moral contestation of preventive medicine bring into line systemic contingencies that expose the historical, social, and cultural trajectories of cervical cancer.

Cristina A. Pop is an assistant professor of medical anthropology and medical humanities at Creighton University. Her research interests are reproductive health and healthcare, reproductive governance, vaccination hesitancy, post-Communism, discourse analysis, and ethnographic fiction. She has published in Medical Anthropology Quarterly, Medical Anthropology, Culture, Health and Sexuality, and Journal of Religion and Health. Cristina is the author of The Cancer Within: Reproduction, Cultural Transformation and Health Care in Romania, published in 2022 with Rutgers University Press in the series “Medical Anthropology: Health, Inequality, and Social Justice.”

Yadong Li is a PhD student in anthropology at Tulane University. He conducts ethnography among ufologists in China. His research interests lie at the intersection of the anthropology of the paranormal, hope studies, and post-structuralist philosophy. More details about his scholarship and research interests can be found here.

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Yadong Li

Yadong Li is a PhD student in socio-cultural anthropology at the Tulane University of Louisiana. He is interested in the anthropology of time, hope studies, and post-structuralist philosophy. Please feel free to contact him by email: /
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