Dr Annalise Weckesser


Annalise came to the UK in 2007 from Canada to undertake PhD studies at the University of Warwick's School of Health and Social Studies, where she was a Warwick Postgraduate Research Fellow.

From 2009 to 2011, with funding from the Wenner-Gren Foundation, Annalise undertook ethnographic fieldwork on social relations of care involving 'orphans and vulnerable children' in the Republic of South Africa.

After completing her doctorate, she took her present position as a Research Fellow at Birmingham City University's Centre for Health and Social Care Research where she is conducting a qualitative study of women's experiences of pregnancy whilst living with epilepsy.

Current Activity

Annalise is currently conducting a qualitative research project in conjunction with the EMPiRE (Anti-Epileptic drug Monitoring in PREgnancy) Trial, a UK multi-centre, randomised controlled trial (RCT) that compares proactive and reactive strategies for anti-epileptic drug (AED) regimes during pregnancy.

As part of this trial, Annalise and Prof Elaine Denny are conducting a study of women's experiences of pregnancy whilst living with epilepsy. The purpose of this research is to explore and capture the perspectives of pregnant women living with and managing, epilepsy. Annalise is also part of a qualitative wing of the PRE-EMPT (Preventing Recurrence of Endometriosis by Means of long acting Progestogen Therapy) Trial, which will explore the barriers and facilitators to recruitment to the trial as well as patients’ experiences of endometriosis treatment. 

Areas of Expertise
  • Qualitative research (qualitative research design, methods, ethics and analysis)
  • Gender and (international) health, including reproductive health, HIV/AIDS and gender, violence and (post) conflict zones
  • Anthropology of childhood(s) and youth studies.
  • PhD, School of Health and Social Studies, University of Warwick (2007 – 2012)
  • Social Anthropology MA, York University, Canada (2004 – 2006)
  • International Development and Social/ Cultural Anthropology BA Honours, University of Toronto, Canada (1998 – 2002)
  • Faculty Research Committee, Faculty of Health, Birmingham City University
  • The British Sociological Association
  • Society for Medical Anthropology
  • Warwick Early Career Researcher Network, University of Warwick
  • Sub-Saharan African Research Network, IAS, University of Warwick
  • Network of Applied Anthropologists, Association of Social Anthropologists of the UK and Commonwealth.

Annalise teaches qualitative research in Health Studies at Birmingham City University and
conducts guest lectures on Gender & Global Health (topics including: Gender & HIV/AIDS; Gender & Sexual Violence in Conflict Zones; Anthropology of Humanitarian Aid & Philanthropy; Global Childhood(s); and Orphans & Vulnerable Children) at the University of Birmingham, University of Manchester and University of Warwick.

  • Qualitative component of the EMPiRE Trial, exploring women’s experiences of pregnancy whilst living with epilepsy
  • Qualitative component of the PRE-EMPT Trial, exploring women’s experiences of endometriosis treatment
Postgraduate Supervision

Annalise supervises postgraduate students undertaking qualitative methods in their research and/or are interested in research in following the areas: Gender & (Reproductive) Health, Global Health and Childhood(s).


Weckesser, A. and E. Denny (2013) Women Living with Epilepsy, Experiences of Pregnancy and Reproductive Health: A Review of the Literature, Seizure, 22 (2): 91-8

Weckesser-Muthalali A. (2010) Review of Engaging Contradictions: Theory, Politics and Methods of Activist Scholarship, C.R. Hale (ed.) Anthropology in Action, 17 (2 and 3): 114–21

PhD Thesis:
Weckesser, Annalise Marie (2011) Girls, gifts, and gender: An ethnography of the materiality of care in rural Mpumalanga, South Africa. PhD thesis, University of Warwick.

(2013) Poster: ‘Exploring Women’s Narratives of Pregnancy and Epilepsy,’ Birmingham City University, Faculty Conference, 20 November

(2013) Presentation: ‘Women’s Experiences of Pregnancy Whilst Living with Epilepsy: EMPiRE Trial,’ Birmingham Women’s Hospital, Annual Research Showcase, 5 November
(2013) Poster: ‘Capturing Pregnant Women’s Perspectives on Living with and Managing, Epilepsy: A Qualitative Study,’ International League Against Epilepsy, Annual Scientific Meeting, University of Glasgow, 5-7 September
(2012) ‘Women’s Experiences of Pregnancy Whilst Living with Epilepsy,’ Birmingham City University, 8th Annual Faculty Research Conference, 21 November

(2011) 'If they want lions, you find lions. If they want orphans, you find orphans.' Exploring tourist philanthropy in rural South Africa,' Oxford University, Childhood Research Seminar, 13 June

(2011) 'Contentious childhoods: Tensions of representation in research with children’s charities in South Africa,' Oxford University, 12th Annual Researching Africa Day: Critical Reflections on Research, Practice, and Knowledge, 14 May

(2011) 'Investigating tourist philanthropy for young 'orphans and vulnerable children in rural South Africa,' University College Cork, Early Childhood in Developing World Contexts- An International Conference, 7 – 8 April