Terms and Dates:

  • Spring Break 2024


Annie Nguyen

Cornell Affiliations:

Global Learning, Arts and Sciences

Off-campus partner:

King's College London (KCL)


Opportunity Description

In collaboration with Global Hub partner, King’s College London (KCL), this program examines London as a global financial capital, a center of health research and policy, and a site where the consequences of climate change, including extreme heat events, are distributed in radically uneven ways. This program will bring students to sites across the city where medical practitioners and community groups are working to understand and confront environmental thermal inequality, from reproductive inequalities to mental health to chronic disease. It builds on a critical approach to global health, born out of the cross-currents of medical anthropology, science and technology studies, public health, global governance, and social epidemiology. A critical approach to global health asks how structures of power and inequality, from colonialism to racial capitalism, both limit the reach of biomedical technologies around the world and enable certain kinds of solutions to health problems to become favored. While global health is often construed as happening in the Global South (Africa, Latin America, South and Southeast Asia), students are challenged to understand the urgency of problems of planetary change and uneven development in a city that is often portrayed as a nerve center of colonial and financial power. In a moment where climate change is making the limits of global health even more apparent, this program presents an opportunity for students and a collaborative faculty team to reimagine global health’s relationship to environmental justice. 

Students will spend roughly 10 days in London, visiting critical sites where the heatwave was experienced, where environmental justice activism took root in its aftermath, and where knowledge production about the event is ongoing.  In the four weeks prior to to the London trip, they will read and discuss relevant scholarly works on the topics of heat, natural disaster, and environmental justice, in preparation for the visit.  After the spring break trip to London, they will write final research papers.

Travel Dates:

March 30 - April 7, 2024

This program is embedded as part of the spring course titled Heat Waves and Global Health: Environmental Justice and Social Autopsy in London and Beyond. Limited to 12 students. Students will receive one grade for the full course in spring semester, and travel is REQUIRED as part of this program:

  • ANTHR 3430: Heat Waves and Global Health: Environmental Justice and Social Autopsy in London and Beyond
    (Spring 2024, Travel: March 30-April 7, 2024)


Cornell faculty will be teaching in collaboration with colleagues from the KCL's department of Global Health and Social Medicine (GHSM). KCL and GHSM have become destinations for visiting global health scholars and practitioners from around the world. The GHSM department in particular is committed to bringing colleagues from outside the Euro-Atlantic to London as teachers and collaborators, which means that in any given summer, Cornell students will have the chance to interact with and make lasting connections to London-based critical global health scholars as well as individuals based in countries where they might see themselves doing humanitarian work, medical volunteering, or research.

Alex Nading, Associate Professor, Department of Anthropology, College of Arts and Sciences

Ann Kelly, Professor of Anthropology and Global Health, King's College London


*Some program information questions in 'Application Preview' below may not be applicable to this program. Course background will be asked if relevant to that particular short-term program.