Wesleyan portrait of Tess  Bird

Tess Bird

Andrew W. Mellon Postdoctoral Fellow for Writing in the Social Sciences

116 Mt. Vernon Street, 1


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BA University of Connecticut
MSC Oxford University
PHD Oxford University

Tess Bird

Tess Bird is a medical and visual anthropologist interested in uncertainty, wellbeing, and futures-making in the anthropocene. As a Mellon Postdoctoral Fellow for Writing in the Social Sciences at Wesleyan, she is developing writing and teaching tools for the social sciences that draw from her research and practice with uncertainty. Her interdisciplinary courses introduce students to anthropology, geography, ecology, sociology, science and technology studies, epidemiology, and critical public health. Tess is also affiliated with the Oxford Unit for Biocultural Variation and Obesity (UBVO) where she is a part of a collaborate project to develop innovative ways to teach students about the complexity of the global obesity epidemic.

Tess has recently completed her doctorate at the University of Oxford at the Institute for Social and Cultural Anthropology and Magdalen College. Her research examined how middle class households in Providence, Rhode Island negotiate uncertainty and sustain wellbeing via the material culture of the home. Prior to this, her masters research in medical anthropology focused on gender and pharmaceutical marketing in relation to oral contraception. Tess was educated in gender studies at the University of Connecticut, where she also worked as tutor and coordinator of creative writing outreach at the Writing Center. She has since served as a writing coach and editor for academics, artists, and businesses for over ten years. Professionally, she has worked as a medical-legal researcher in occupational and consumer health and has published on asbestos and other industry influence on public health.

Academic Affiliations

Office Hours

Tuesdays 1:30-4:30 pm, and by appointment.


Spring 2020
SISP 204 - 01
Extreme Landscapes