Josien de Klerk
Josien de Klerk is a medical anthropologist and Associate Professor at Leiden University College. She has extensive research experience in Eastern Africa on topics of aging, community-based and kinship care, HIV/AIDS and chronic caring, grief, stress and wellbeing and the politics and practices of public health interventions. Her current collaborative research focuses on narratives of good parenting and the politics of care amongst community counselors in a parenting intervention for mothers and infants in Johannesburg, South Africa. At LUC she holds the portfolio for societal engagement. Josien is co-convenor of the Leiden Medical Anthropology Network (LUMAN).
Josien de Klerk is a cultural and medical anthropologist and Associate Professor at Leiden University College. She is the co-PI of the collaborative project: ‘Good Parenting’: Evidence and Care-work in a home visiting program to promote maternal sensitivity and parental reflective functioning in Alexandra township, Johannesburg, South Africa’.
Josien obtained her PhD from the University of Amsterdam in 2011. Her PhD and subsequent Post-Doctoral research centered around aging in the era of AIDS in Kenya and Tanzania, looking at informal care, including self-care, of both affected and infected older people in rural and urban settings, using a storytelling framework and situating biographical stories historically. Her long-term ethnographic fieldwork is the basis of critical analysis of the politics around aging and care in the treatment-dominated AIDS landscape in East-Africa.
For the Amsterdam Institute for Social Science Research in Amsterdam, Josien is the senior social scientist in an interdisciplinary project (2019-2023) aiming to improve availability, access to and retention in HIV Care in rural Tanzania. This project amongst others pilots a model of decentralized HIV care
Josien has alternated an academic career with applied research and project management for different NGOs, including Doctors without Borders and World Granny. At LUC she holds the portfolio for societal engagement and is involved in making visible LUC’s unique approaches to engaged teaching and research in the city of the Josien is a member of the Knowledge Platform Senior Friendly City and collaborates with local partners in her teaching.
Next to that, Josien is co-convenor of the Leiden Medical Anthropology Network (LUMAN). She also produced two podcasts for Leiden University titled "An Aging World" and "Anthropologic". These podcasts can be found here.
Recurrent themes in Josien’s research include aging and (grand)parenting, chronic caring and living with chronic conditions, stress, grief, and wellbeing, community-based and kinship care and the politics and practices of (global) health interventions.
Her current collaborative research focuses on the making of evidence and the evidence of care-work in home-visit reports produced in a parenting intervention directed at pregnant mothers and mothers of infants in Johannesburg, South Africa over the 10-year life of the intervention.
In her teaching Josien aims to experiment with different ways of learning, using creative approaches.
- Health and Development: HIV/AIDS in Africa
- Aging and Society
- Medical Anthropology
- Research Design