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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 whose teaching and research interests coalesce around the gendering of health and illness (including anorexia and obesity), theories of embodiment, 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 teaches in Gender Studies and Social Analysis and is a member of the Lifecourse and Intergenerational Health (LIGHt) Research Group (part of the Robinson Institute), where she is exploring gender and class differences in obesity (funded through NHMRC and ARC grants), media discourses of gendered blame in relation to obesity, and public understandings of obesity science (fetal origins of obesity and epigenetics). In collaboration with a colleague from Durham University, UK (Dr Catherine Palmer) Megan established the National Anthropology and Public Health Course in Australia. Megan is an International Fellow of the Unit for Biocultural Variation and Obesity (UBVO) at the Institute of Social and Cultural Anthropology, University of Oxford.

Megan works with ARC postdoctoral research fellow Dr Tanya Zivkovic who is engaged in critical obesity studies in GSSA.


Postgraduate Certificate in Learning and Teaching in Higher Education (Durham University, UK) 2008

PhD Social Anthropology and Gender Studies (University of Adelaide, South Australia) 2002

Teaching Interests

  • Gender, health and illness; theories of the body; social theory and research in practice; gendered spaces; anthropology of public health.

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); gender and social class; material feminisms; Persian diaspora in Australia, phenomenology and sensory experiences; theories of embodiment.

Current PhD students

  • Damian Creaser The effects of major cardiac events on masculinity and manhood
  • Tara Bates Gender and mental health
  • Jillian Schedneck Modernisation and gender in the United Arab Emirate
  • Connie Musolino Desire and denial in eating disorders
  • Lucy Martin Preventive regulations and laws to reduce childhood obesity
  • Jessica Merrick Race and reflexivity in an Indigenous Australian health intervention
  • Katherine Radoslovich Love, Intimacy and Aging

Research Funding

Selected grants from 2007

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

2011 - 2013 Channel 7 Children's Research Foundation

Project title: Food stories: How children from socially disadvantaged areas engage with childhood obesity prevention programs.

Chief Investigator: Dr Megan Warin

2007 - 2010 National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC)


Project title: Early life influences on obesity and fat patterning in children: critical periods, environmental determinants, and socio-cultural contexts


Chief Investigators: Dr Vivienne Moore (Department of Public Health, University of Adelaide, Dr Michael Davies (Department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology, University of Adelaide), Dr Megan Warin (LIGHt), Prof Jeffrey Robinson (Department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology, University of Adelaide).


Google Scholar:

Selected publications 2007 onwards


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

Book sections

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.

Layton R & M Warin (2009) Aboriginal Australia. In Barnard, A & J Spencer (eds) Encylopedia of Social and Cultural Anthropology. Routledge: London.

Journal papers: Academic

Warin M (2014) Material feminism, obesity science and the limits of discursive critque. Body & Society (accepted and in press).

Platten B & M Warin (2014) Mouthing disgust and pleasure in eating disorders: The sensorial agency and gendered dimenstions 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.

Giles L, Davies M, Whitrow M, Warin M & V Moore (2011) Maternal depressive symptoms and childcare during toddlerhood relate to child behavior at age 5½ years. Paediatrics 128(1):78-84.

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.

Dennis S & M Warin (2010) Honeyed tongues and hostile intimacy: Engaging trauma across migrant worlds Special issue Spaces of Intimacy, Emotion, Space and Society 3(1).

Smith, J, Braunack-Mayer A, Wittert G & M Warin (2008) "It's sort of like being a detective": Understanding how Australian men self-monitor their health prior to seeking help. BMC Health Services Research 8(56).

Warin M, Moore V, Davies M & K Turner (2008) Consuming Bodies: Mall walking and the possibilities of consumption. Health Sociology Review 17(2).

Smith, J, Braunack-Mayer A, Wittert G & M Warin (2008) Qualities men value when communicating with GPs: Implications for primary care settings. Medical Journal of Australia

Beasley C & M Warin (2008) Guest editorial: Re-imaginging preventive health. Health Sociology Review: International Journal of Health Sociology: Policy, Promotion, Equity and Practice 17(2).

Warin M, Turner K, Moore V & M Davies (2007)  Bodies, mothers and identities: rethinking obesity and the BMI. Sociology of Health and Illness Advance online publication. (Additional information) (View publication online)

Smith J, Braunack-Mayer A, Wittert G & M Warin (2007) 'I’ve been independent for so damn long' Independence, masculinity and aging in a help seeking context. Journal of Aging Studies 21(4).

Martin, S, Haren M, Taylor A, Middleton S, Wittert G & M Warin (2007) Cohort Profile: The Florey Adelaide Male Ageing Study. International Journal of Epidemiology 36(2):302-306.

McLoughlin P & M Warin (2007) Corrosive Places, Inhuman Spaces Mental Health in Australian Immigration Detention. Health and Place 14(2): 254-264.

Dennis S & M Warin (2007) Domestic temporalities Sensual patterning in Persian migratory landscapes. International Journal of Phenomenology 7(2).


Entry last updated: Sunday, 13 Jul 2014

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