Dr Myfanwy James

Dr Myfanwy James

Assistant Professor in International Development and Humanitarian Emergencies

Department of International Development

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English, French
Key Expertise
Humanitarianism, conflict, security, crisis, epidemics, migration, health

About me

Myfanwy James is an Assistant Professor in International Development and Humanitarian Emergencies. Her work examines the politics of humanitarian intervention in contexts of conflict and displacement, with a regional focus on the eastern Democratic Republic of the Congo. Using ethnographic and historical methods, she has conducted research on how humanitarians negotiate their access with armed groups, the experience of locally hired humanitarians in security management, structures of inequality in aid, as well as the contested legitimacy of medical research in epidemic contexts. Her work has been published in Third World Quarterly, Development and Change, Medical Anthropology, Journal of Intervention and Statebuilding, Disasters, Social Science and Medicine, and Journal of Humanitarian Affairs.

Myfanwy previously worked as a Lecturer at the Oxford Department of International Development at the University of Oxford, and as a Research Fellow at the Department of Global Health and Development at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine. She has also worked as an external research consultant for Médecins Sans Frontières. She holds a PhD (DPhil) from the University of Oxford.

Selected publications

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  • James, M., Mansaray, A., Omega Thige, F., Mafinda, M., Kambale Kasonia, K., Kahehero Paluku, J., D Timbo, A., Karenzi, L., Ntabala, F., Tindanbil, D. and Leigh, B., 2023. Continuity and rupture in crisis: from Ebola to COVID-19 in Sierra Leone and the eastern Democratic Republic of the Congo. Global Public Health, 18(1), 2259959. https://doi.org/10.1080/17441692.2023.2259959

  • James, M., Kasereka, J.G., Kasiwa, B., Kavunga-Membo, H., Kambale, K., Grais, R., Muyembe-Tamfum, J.J., Bausch, D.G., Watson-Jones, D. and Lees, S., 2023. ‘Protection, health seeking, or a laissez-passer: Participants’ decision-making in an EVD vaccine trial in the eastern Democratic Republic of the Congo,’ Social Science & Medicine, p.115833.

  • James, M., and S. Lees. 2022. ‘”Are you sure it’s not the corona vaccine?” An Ebola vaccine trial during COVID-19 in DRC,’ Medical Anthropology, 41(5), 503-517DOI:10.1080/01459740.2022.2097908

  • Lees, S., Enria, L., James, M. 2022. ‘Contesting the Crisis Narrative: Epidemic Accounts in Sierra Leone, Tanzania and Democratic Republic of Congo.’ Disasters, 47(1), 78-98. DOI: 10.1111/disa.12535

  • James, M. 2022. ‘Humanitarian Fables: Morals, meanings and consequences for humanitarian practice,’ Third World Quarterly, 43(2), 475-493. DOI: 10.1080/01436597.2021.2023318

  • James, M. 2022. ‘Humanitarian Shapeshifting: Brokerage, Identity and Access in the eastern Democratic Republic of the Congo,’ Journal of Intervention and State building, 16(3), 349-367 DOI: 10.1080/17502977.2021.2002591

  • James, M. 2022. ‘From Rebel to Humanitarian: Military savoir faire and humanitarian practice in eastern DR Congo,’ Development and Change, 53(1), 166–189DOI: 10.1111/dech.12693

  • James, M., Kasereka, G., Lees, S. 2021. ‘The Politics of a Second Vaccine: Debates surrounding Ebola vaccine trials in the eastern DR Congo,’ Journal of Humanitarian Affairs 3(3), 4-13. DOI: 10.7227/JHA.069

  • James, M. 2020. ‘“Who can sing the song of MSF?” The politics of “proximity” and performing humanitarianism in eastern DRC,’ Journal of Humanitarian Affairs 2(2), 31–39. DOI: 10.7227/JHA.041

Expertise Details

Humanitarianism; conflict; security; crisis; epidemics; migration; health; DRC