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Associate Professor Megan Warin

Telephone +61 8 8313 4864
Position Associate Professor
Fax +61 8 8313 3345
Building Napier Building
Floor/Room 1 40a
Campus North Terrace
Org Unit Gender Studies and Social Analysis

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Biography/ Background

Dr Megan Warin is a social anthropologist and ARC Future Fellow whose research interests coalesce around the gendering of health and illness (including anorexia and obesity), the anthropology of epigenetics, and public understanding of scientific paradigms of obesity. In addition to Gender Studies and Anthropology, Megan has worked in and across a number of disciplines in Australian and UK universities, including psychiatry and public health. Megan is a member of the Lifecourse and Intergenerational Health (LIGHt) Research Group (part of the Robinson Research Institute), where she is exploring gender and class differences in obesity (funded through ARC grants), public understandings of obesity science (fetal origins of obesity and epigenetics), and the nature of desire in disordered eating. Megan is co-director of the Fay Gale Centre for Research on Gender and an International Fellow of the Unit for Biocultural Variation and Obesity (UBVO) at the Institute of Social and Cultural Anthropology, University of Oxford.

Current opinion piece with artist Dr Bronwyn Platten on the UBVO site:

Megan co-directs the Faculty of Arts Early Career Research Network and the Australian Food, Society and Culture Network.

Research Interests

Critical persectives on eating disorders and obesity; anorexia and desire, public understandings of obesity science (Barker's hypothesis, early origins of disease, epigenetics); the anthropology of epigenetics; new materialism; phenomenology and sensory experiences; gender and social class; theories of embodiment.

Current PhD students

  • Bridget Jay Food/body encounters
  • Damian Creaser The effects of major cardiac events on masculinity and manhood
  • Tara Bates Pharmacological embodiment of antipsychotics
  • Connie Musolino Desire and denial in eating disorders
  • Lucy Martin Preventive regulations and laws to reduce childhood obesity
  • Katherine Radoslovich Love, Intimacy and Aging

Research Funding

Grants (2011 onwards)

2015 - 2019 Austalian Research Council Future Fellow

Project title: Food/Body Encounters

2012 - 2015 Australia National Preventive Health Agency Research Grant (ANPHA)

Project title: Steward or nanny state: Consulting the public about the use of regulations and laws to address childhood obesity.

Chief Investigators:Prof Annette Braunack-Mayer, Prof Chris Reynolds, Prof Vivienne Moore, Dr Megan Warin, Dr Drew Carter, Assoc Prof John Moss, Tracey Merlin.

2011 - 2014 Australia Research Council Linkage grant

Project title: An ethnographic study of obesity risk in a disadvantaged community

Chief Investigators: Dr Megan Warin, Prof Vivienne Moore, Assoc Prof Paul Ward, Dr Michelle Jones.

Industry partners: SA Health, Playford City Council

2011 - 2014 Australia Research Council Linkage grant

Project title: Dynamics of desire and denial: Why are people with eating disorders reluctant to engage with treatment services?

Chief Investigators: Dr Megan Warin, Professor Tracey Wade, Dr Peter Gilchrist

Industry partners: SA Mental Health, Flinders Medical Centre, ACEDA


Google Scholar:

Selected publications


Warin M (2010) Abject Relations: Everyday Worlds of Anorexia, Cambridge Studies in Medical Anthropology, Rutgers University Press, NJ

Book sections

Zivkovic T., Warin M., Moore V., Ward P., & M Jones (2015) The Sweetness of Care: Biographies, Bodies and Place. In Attala L., Abbotts E & A Lavis (Eds). Careful Eating: Bodies, Food and Care. Ashgate: Surrey. (forthcoming).

Warin M., Zivkovic T., Davies M. & V Moore (2014) Mothers as smoking guns: Fetal overnutrition and the reproduction of obesity, in Ulijaszek, S & K Eli (eds) Obesity, Eating Disorders and the Media. Surrey: Ashgate.  

Warin M., Moore V. & M Davies (2011) The Traffic in ‘Nature’ Maternal Bodies and Obesity. In Fatness and the Maternal Body: Women’s experiences of corporeality and the shaping of social policy. Unnithan-Kumar, M. & Tremane, S. (eds) New York.: Berghahn Books.

Warin M & S Dennis (2009) Telling silences: unspeakable trauma and the unremarkable practices of everyday life. In (Un)knowing Bodies. Sociological Review Monograph Series. Latimer, J. & Schillmeier, M. (eds) Blackwell: Oxford.

Selected Journal papers

Warin M, Moore V, Ulijaszek S & M Davies (2015) Epigenetics and obesity: The reproduction of habitus through intracellular and social environments. Body & Society (forthcoming).

Warin M, Zivkovic T, Moore V, Ward P & M Jones (2015) Short horizons and obesity futures: Disjunctures between public health interventions and everyday temporalities. Social Science and Medicine. Doi: 10.1016/j.socscimed.2015.01.026.

Warin M (2014) Material feminism, obesity science and the limits of discursive critique. Body & Society ().

Platten B & M Warin (2014) Mouthing disgust and pleasure in eating disorders: The sensorial agency and gendered dimensions of consuming bodies. The Senses and Society 9(2): 194-211.

Gunson J, Warin M, Zivkovic T & V Moore (2014) Striated and smooth spaces: Participant observation in obesity research with children. Children's Geographies (accepted and in press).

Warin M & J Gunson (2013) The weight of the word: Knowing silences in obesity research.  Qualitative Health Research 23(12): 1686-1696. 

Allison S, Warin M & T Bastiampillai (2013) Anorexia nervosa and social contagion: Clinical implications. Australian and New Zealand Journal of Psychiatry, August 22.

Warin M, Zivkovic T, Davies M & V Moore (2012) Mothers as smoking guns: Fetal overnutrition and the reproduction of obesity. Special edition on Fat Embodiment in Feminism and Psychology 22(3): 360-75.

Warin M, Moore V, Zivkovic T & M Davies (2011) Telescoping the origins of obesity to women's bodies: How gender inequalities are being squeezed out of Barker's hypothesis. Annals of Human Biology 38(4):453-60.

Broom D & M Warin (2011) Gendered and class relations of obesity: Confusing findings, deficient explanations. Australian Feminist Studies 26(70): 453-467.

Warin M (2011) Foucault's Progeny: Jamie Oliver and the Art of Governing Obesity. Social Theory and Health 9: 24-40.

Zivkovic T, Warin M, Davies M & V Moore (2010) In the name of the child: The gendered politics of childhood obesity. Journal of Sociology 46: 375-392.


Entry last updated: Saturday, 16 May 2015

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