Faculty & Staff

Cassandra Workman

Associate Professor
Medical Anthropology
Ph.D. University of South Florida, 2013
Graham 443
Curriculum Vitae

Research Interests

  • Biocultural medical anthropology
  • Applied anthropology
  • Environmental anthropology
  • International development
  • Water insecurity and water, sanitation & hygiene (WaSH)
  • Food insecurity
  • Syndemic theory

Courses Taught

  • ATY 113: Engaging Culture
  • ATY 259 Pandemics, Plagues, and Outbreaks
  • ATY 311: Reading Culture and Society
  • ATY 362: Methods in Cultural Anthropology
  • ATY 459 Anthropology of WASH
  • ATY 465 Medical Anthropology
  • ATY 469 Anthropology of Infectious Disease

Personal Statement

As a biocultural anthropologist, I am interested in looking at the ways in which humans are impacted biologically, psycho-emotionally and socially, by food insecurity and water and sanitation (WaSH) insecurity.  In order to understand these complex interactions, I engage medical anthropology, environmental anthropology and other scientific disciplines such as public health and hydrology. I use both qualitative and quantitative methods in my research and have conducted research in Lesotho and Tanzania, Africa, as well as in eastern North Carolina.  In addition to conducting scholarly research, I have worked in international development for donor organizations and implementing partners in Mozambique, Tanzania, and South Sudan.  I draw on both my research and my professional experience in international development to demonstrate the applicability of anthropology to addressing pressing global issues.


  • 2019 Workman, Cassandra L. “Ebbs and flows of authority: Water resource
    management, decentralization and development in Lesotho.” Water. 11(184);
  • 2019 Workman, Cassandra L. “Perceptions of Drinking Water Cleanliness and Health Seeking Behaviours: A Qualitative Assessment of Household Water Safety in Lesotho, Africa.” Global Public Health. 1-13. DOI: 10.1080/17441692.2019.1566483.
  • 2019 Brewis, Alexandra, Asher Rosinger, Amber Wutich, Ellis Adams, Lee Cronk, Amber Pearson, Cassandra Workman, Sera Young, and the HWISE Consortium. “Water Sharing, reciprocity, and need: A comparative study of inter-household water transfers in Sub-Saharan Africa.” Economic Anthropology. DOI:10.1002/sea2.12143
  • 2018 Wutich, Amber, Jessica Budds, Wendy Jepson, Leila Harris, Ellis Adams, Alexandra Brewis, Lee Cronk, Christine DeMyers, Kenneth Maes, Tennille Marley, Joshua Miller, Amber Pearson, Asher Rosinger, Roseanne Schuster, Justin Stoller, Chad Staddon, Polly Wiessner, Cassandra Workman and Sera Young. “Household water sharing: A review of water gifts, exchanges, and transfers across cultures.” Wiley Interdisciplinary Reviews (WIREs): Water 5: e1309
  • 2017 Cairns, Maryann R., Cassandra L. Workman, and Indrakshi Tandon. “Gender Mainstreaming and Water Development Projects: Analyzing unexpected outcomes in Bolivia, Lesotho, and India.”  Gender, Place & Culture 24(3): 325-342.
  • 2017 Workman, Cassandra L. and Heather Ureksoy. “Water Insecurity in a Syndemic
    Context: Understanding the Psycho-Emotional Stress of Water Insecurity in
    Lesotho, Africa.”  Social Science & Medicine 179:52-60.
  • 2016 Workman, Cassandra L. “Food Insecurity, Water Insecurity, and HIV/AIDS Syndemic in Lesotho: Monitoring and Evaluating a “Perfect Storm.””  Practicing Anthropology 38(4): 55-58. (Editor reviewed)

Current Projects

I have two ongoing research projects.  The first explores the effect food insecurity, water insecurity, and lack of adequate sanitation on human health and wellbeing in Tanzania.  I collected preliminary data for this in spring of 2018 and plan to return to Tanzania in 2020 for a larger study. This project includes anthropological methods as well as advanced statistical modeling and engineering technologies to assess the multi-scale drivers of household water insecurity.  I have partnered with engineers from the Global WaSH Cluster at NC State and faculty from the Sokoine University of Agriculture in Tanzania to conduct this research. The second project is here in North Carolina. With colleagues from East Carolina University, we are exploring the risk and resilience of North Carolinians to environmental hazards such as increased hurricane-related flooding due to a changing climate.

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