Dunstan Matungwa

DM - NIMR-MITUI am a cultural and medical anthropologist and a Research Scientist at the National Institute for Medical Research (NIMR) in Mwanza, Tanzania, where I previously served as a Qualitative Research Coordinator for Unite for Body Rights (UFBR) program. Before coming to NIMR in summer 2011, I taught in the Department of Sociology and Anthropology at the University of Dar es Salaam for over four years.

My research interests cover a broad array of topics that revolve around the central theme of how people negotiate social, cultural, political and economic relations, structures and processes that mediate their lives to produce precarity, suffering, ill health and more. While paying attention to liberal and non-liberal forms of (collective) agency, I study how people shape and are shaped by these relations, structures and processes as well as their resulting forms of subjectivities.

My current research project is a doctoral dissertation research and an ethnography that explores non-client, female-centered social relations and networks among women who sell sex to examine their economic, political, social, and emotional significance. While re-examining the motivations to sell sex, I explore how, why and with whom these women develop social relations and networks; forms of power that arise from these social relations and networks, and how these women draw on social relations, networks and forms of power to negotiate gendered stigma, gendered economic inequality and respectability.

I have also studied the sexual and reproductive health and rights of young people and women in Tanzania. I have explored how young people and women negotiate norms, values and local discourses on sexuality and how this negotiation prefigures different forms of subjectivities, logics and imaginings. And with regard to development and health, I have drawn on intersectionality and the entitlement approach to explore how social, economic and gendered power relations underlie destitution and ill health in communities with plenty of resources.

An advisee of American historical anthropologist Dorothy L. Hodgson, I am currently a Ph.D. Candidate in the Department of Anthropology at Rutgers University in the United States where I have also been a Fulbright Scholar and an Excellence Fellow. I hold an M.A. in Anthropology from Rutgers University as well as an M.A. and a B.A. in Sociology (with Honors) from the University of Dar es Salaam, Tanzania.


National Institute for Medical Research | Mwanza Research Center | P.O. Box 1462 | Mwanza, Tanzania | Email:, | Mobile: +255767219217, +255621025680, +255783371734 | Web pages: Department of Anthropology, Rutgers University, LinkedInTwitter | Skype: dmatungwa |