Jennifer S. Hirsch, a medical anthropologist, is Professor of Sociomedical Sciences at Columbia University’s Mailman School of Public Health. Her research spans five intertwined domains: how modifiable social institutions shape health outcomes; gender, sexuality and migration as drivers of sexual and reproductive health and HIV risk practices; sexual assault and undergraduate well-being, and the intersections between anthropology and public health.
Hirsch is co-Principal Investigator of the Sexual Health Initiative to Foster Transformation (SHIFT), a research project on sexual assault and sexual health among Columbia undergraduates that has received extensive media coverage, including recent profiles in the New Yorker and the Chronicle of Higher Education. During her time as a Visiting Research Scholar at Princeton’s Center for Health and Well-Being in the 2018-19 academic year, Hirsch’s primary project will be to complete a coauthored book (with Shamus Khan), to be published by W.W. Norton, which will draw on SHIFT’s ethnographic research to analyze sexual assault and consensual sex among undergraduates in relation to the broader context of campus life. A 2012 Guggenheim Fellow and a 2015 Op Ed Project Public Voices Fellow, Hirsch co-directs the Columbia Population Research Center. She is author of A Courtship After Marriage: Sexuality and Love in Mexican Transnational Families, the award-winning coauthored The Secret: Love, Marriage and HIV, two edited volumes on the anthropology of love, more than 50 peer-reviewed articles, and extensive popular writing on health and social inequality. She also serves as a board member for Jews for Racial and Economic Justice.
She earned her A.B. from Princeton University in History, with a certificate in Women’s Studies, and her Ph.D. from Johns Hopkins University in Population Dynamics and Anthropology.