- Assistant Professor, Department of Anthropology and Center for Ethics and Humanities in the Life Sciences
- Medical Anthropology; Bioethics; Biotechnology; Global Health; Medical Tourism; Embodiment; Bodily Inequality; Human Rights; Activism; International Development; South Asia, Southeast Asia, North America.
Monir Moniruzzaman (Ph.D. U of Toronto) is a medical anthropologist holding a joint faculty appointment in Anthropology and Center for Ethics and Humanities in Life Sciences at Michigan State University.
Monir’s research centers on human organ trafficking, focusing on the bioviolence against malnourished bodies of marginalized populations. Based on challenging ethnographic fieldwork, spanning more than a decade, his research examines how organ buyers (both brokers and many recipients) deceived Bangladeshi poor into selling their body parts. In the end, these sellers were only partially paid, and their suffering was extreme. In the post-vending period, sellers’ health, economic, and social conditions significantly deteriorated, yet none of them received the promised post-operative care—not even one appointment. Monir concludes that organ commerce constitutes profound bioviolence against the poor, at the cost of severe suffering to them.
Monir’s research has been recognized within the academic community and broader publics. His articles have been published in Medical Anthropology Quarterly, American Journal of Bioethics, and by the School of American research. He has been invited to present at the Vatican, US Congress Human Rights Commission and US Senate Foreign Relations Committee.
Prior joining to Michigan State University, Monir served as assistant professor at Shahjalal University of Science and Technology in Bangladesh, awarded two doctoral fellowships at the University of Toronto, and a post-doctoral fellowship at the University of California, Berkeley. At present, he is teaching courses such as, The End of the Body: Biotechnology, Violence, and Ethics; Culture Health and Illness; and Socio-Cultural Diversity at the College of Social Science, as well as Social Contexts in Clinical Decision at the College of Human Medicine.
2017. Saving the Starfish: Physicians’ Roles in Responding to Human Rights Abuses in Global Health Practice. American Medical Association Journal of Ethics 19(1): 8-15.
2016. (Moniruzzman, M, C Turner, H Dewey-Hagborg, and J Ruxton). spareparts.exchange: Rahim and Robert: Stitched Together in Silence. Studies in Social Justice 10(2): 308-321.
2016. Spare Parts for Sale: Violence, Exploitation, Suffering. In Understanding and Applying Medical Anthropology. Peter Brown and Svea Closser eds. Third Edition. pp. 277-285. California: Left Coast Press.
2016. At the Black Bazaar of Bangladesh: In Search of Kidney Sellers. In Ethical Concerns in Research on Human Trafficking. Dina Siegel and Roos de Wildt eds. pp. 227-247. New York: Springer.
2014. Domestic Organ Trafficking: Between Biosecurity and Bioviolence. In Bioinsecurity and Vulnerability. Nancy Chen and Lesley Sharp eds. pp. 195-215. Santa Fe: School for Advanced Research.
2014. Regulated Organ Market: Reality Verses Rhetoric. The American Journal of Bioethics 14(10): 33-35.
2013. Parts and Labor: The Commodification of Human Body. In A Companion to Diaspora and Transnationalism. Ato Quayson and Girish Daswani eds. pp. 455-472. Malden, MA: Wiley-Blackwell.
2013. Human Body Parts for Sale in the Neoliberal State. The Journal of Social Studies 137: 1-22.
2012. “Living Cadavers” in Bangladesh: Bioviolence in the Human Organ Bazaar. Medical Anthropology Quarterly 26(1): 69-91. Reprint. 2013. New Directions in Critical Marketing Studies. Mark Tadajewski and Robert Cluley eds. Vol. 4. pp. 335-358. London: Sage.
2010. “The Ripples Changed Our Lives”: Health in Post-Tsunami Thailand. Disaster Prevention and Management 19(3): 333-344.
In the News:
Monir’s research have widely been discussed in the media. About one hundred interviews covering his work were aired on BBC, CBC, HBO and NPR, as well as published in ABC, AFP, Atlantic and Global Post. The recent but selected ones are:
The Atlantic, June 24, 2016. http://www.theatlantic.com/health/archive/2016/06/how-can-we-get-more-living-organ-donors/488723/
BBC TV One, July 30, 2015. http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b06490dp
HBO-Vice, May 15, 2015. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eny6D-7f_rc
Channel NewsAsia Singapore, January 28, 2015. http://www.channelnewsasia.com/tv/tvshows/undercover-asia-s2/the-organ-bazaar/1621860.html
Al Jazeera, December 26, 2014. http://america.aljazeera.com/articles/2014/12/26/bangladesh-organtrafficking.html
ABC Australia, May 16, 2014. http://www.abc.net.au/radionational/programs/360/bangladeshs-organ-trade/5455658
BBC News, October 27, 2013. http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-asia-24128096
NPR WKAR, April 26, 2013. http://wkar.org/post/msu-researcher-enters-murky-world-international-organ-trafficking
Michigan State University President’s Report 2013. http://report.president.msu.edu/360/bangladesh/
Based on Monir’s research, two art installations (with Camille Turner, Jim Ruxton, and Heather Dewey-Hagborg) were exhibited in the following galleries:
Spare Parts, Rodman Hall Art Centre, Brock University, St. Catharines, Canada. October 6-18, 2015. www.spareparts.exchange
Rough Cut, Inter/Access Art Gallery, Toronto, Canada. May 25-June 16, 2007. http://new.interaccess.org/exhibition/whose-body-it-anyway
Photo by Kurt Stepnitz