Contact Information

Phone: (615) 322-0792
300 Calhoun Hall

Office Hours

Tuesday 2:15-3:15 pm and Thursday 9:30-10:30 am, and by appointment


PhD, University of Texas Austin

Ken MacLeish

Assistant Professor of Medicine, Health, and Society and Anthropology

Kenneth MacLeish studies how war, broadly considered, takes shape in the everyday lives of people whose job it is to produce it—U.S. military servicemembers and their families and communities. His book, Making War: Everyday Life at Ft. Hood, was recently published by Princeton University Press. Based on 12 months of ethnographic fieldwork at and around the US Army’s Fort Hood in central Texas, it shows how the challenges of military life originate as much from the relentless demands of the Army itself as from the violence of enemies in combat, creating a distinctive condition of vulnerability in which violence is as routine, boring and normal as it is shocking, traumatic and disruptive. The book draws on theories biopolitics and affect as well as more traditional anthropological analysis to show how the institutional governance of life and death reaches into the most banal and intimate details of everyday life.

Ken’s teaching reflects this same interest in the experience of organized violence and the categorization and labeling of human suffering. He teaches the interdisciplinary seminars War and the Body and Perspectives on Trauma, as well as the Anthropology of Healing and the new MHS core course Politics of Health.


  • Violence and everyday life
  • Military medicine and mental health
  • The US military and the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan
  • Soldier suicide
  • Material and visual culture of war