Martha Lincoln

Martha Lincoln

Associate Professor
Career Resources and Student Engagement
Phone: ON SABBATICAL Spring 2024
Location: FA 521

Book Appointment: I will be on sabbatical through the 2023-2024 academic year.

Use the Calendly link to book

I am a medical and cultural anthropologist. Prior to joining the Anthropology Department at SF State in 2017, I received my Ph.D. from the Graduate Center of the City University of New York and completed a postdoctoral fellowship at the Prevention Research Center, affiliated with UC Berkeley’s School of Public Health. Broadly, my research addresses the cultural politics of public health, biopolitics, and the effects of political economic change on health systems and health outcomes. I advise M.A. students with research interests in cultural and medical anthropology. Recent B.A. and M.A. advisees have joined MPH and Ph.D. programs at Columbia University, the University of Notre Dame, UCLA, and Johns Hopkins University.

Since 2008, I’ve conducted field research in Vietnam, with projects supported by the Social Science Research Council and IIE Fulbright. I’ve published research on Hanoi’s informal sector, stratification and deregulation in health care provision, the ghosts of war, alcohol use and drinking cultures, the redefinition of poverty under late socialism, and urban cholera outbreaks. My book, Epidemic Politics in Contemporary Vietnam: Public Health and the State, was published in 2021 by Bloomsbury Academic. With Van Nguyen-Marshall (Trent University) and Peter Zinoman (UC Berkeley), I’m one of the editors-in-chief of the Journal of Vietnamese Studies.

My current project is based in the United States. With the support of a Marcus Early Career Research Award from SF State’s College of Liberal & Creative Arts and a Scholars Award from the National Science Foundation, I’m studying affective economies in medical crowdfunding for cancer.

My comments on the cultural and political drivers of the COVID-19 pandemic have appeared in articles in national and international media including the BBC, The New York Times, and The Atlantic. I’ve published opinion essays on pandemic matters in NatureThe HillLe Grand ContinentUSA TodayCNN, and Washington Monthly. My collected public-facing writing can be found here.


Recent Publications

2023.   “Biopower in Transition: The Politics of Poverty in Vietnam.” Journal of Vietnamese Studies 18(1-2): 104-142.

2023.  Sosin, Anne N., Esther Choo, and Martha Lincoln. “The Covid Public Health Emergency is Ending. It Now Joins the Ordinary Emergency That is American Health.” BMJ. April 26.

2022    Bachynski, K., Castrucci, B., Choo, E., Dhillon, R., Downs, J., Ganapathi, L., Gonsalves, G., Karan, A., Keller, R., Kominers, S., Levy, J., Lincoln, M., Prins, S., Raifman, J., Sosin, A. “It’s Time to Redouble and Refocus Our Efforts to Fight Covid, Not Retreat.” BMJ. October 7.

2022    “Stop Telling Americans They’re ‘Tired of COVID.’” The Nation. August 18.

2021Epidemic Politics in Contemporary Vietnam: Public Health and the State. London: Bloomsbury Academic.

2021. “Necrosecurity, Immunosupremacy, and Survivorship in the Political Imagination of COVID-19.” Open Anthropological Research 1: 46-59.

Courses Taught

ANTH 120: Introduction to Social and Cultural Anthropology

ANTH 300: Foundations of Anthropology: History

ANTH 305GW: Writing Anthropology - GWAR

ANTH 630: Medical Anthropology

ANTH 631: STEM and Social Justice

ANTH 715: The Craft of Anthropological Writing

ANTH 723: Seminar in Problems in Cultural Anthropology