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    Canada Research Chair

  • Portrait of Robert Lorway
  • Professor

    Max Rady College of Medicine
    Community Health Sciences

    Room 070 - 771 McDermot Avenue
    University of Manitoba
    Winnipeg, Manitoba R3E 0T6

    Phone: 204-272-3152

Research themes

  • community-based participatory research
  • data justice
  • medical anthropology
  • social studies of science and epidemiology

Research interests

  • gender and sexuality
  • global health
  • health activism
  • HIV prevention
  • surveillance

Research summary

Robert Lorway’s research is concerned with the social study of global health interventions, particularly those designed to improve the lives of marginalized populations in Africa and Asia.

Theoretically, his work attempts to understand how contemporary global health interventions enact forms of governance that shape new modalities of citizenship and ‘make up’ communities and subjectivities for health service delivery schemes.

At the same time, he grapples with the concrete public health implications of these emergent forms of sociality. Robert’s theoretical engagements are firmly rooted in collaborative public health projects conducted with members of community-based organizations.


Robert Lorway is a professor of community health sciences in the Institute for Global Public Health where he holds the Canada Research Chair in Global Intervention Politics and Social Transformation.

His research analyzes how intervention life unfurls around transnationally-mediated attempts to alleviate people’s suffering. He has written two books on the subject, Namibia’s Rainbow Project: Gay Rights in an African Nation, and AIDS Activism, Science and Community across Three Continents. In his current book project, Demonopolizing Science: Sex Worker Activism and Global Health, he examines how sex workers reassemble scientific knowledge to pinpoint and defy the undemocratic imperatives in attempts to govern the health of “key populations”.


PhD (socio-cultural medical anthropology), University of Toronto (2005)

Master’s (social anthropology) Dalhousie University (1998)

Bachelor of arts (hons.), St. Mary’s University (1995)


Annual CAHR-CANFAR Excellence in Research Award winner (2020-2021)

Canada Research Chair, Tier II. Global Intervention Politics and Social Transformation (2016-2021)

Lamda Literary Awards Book Finalist. “Namibia’s Rainbow Project”. Chosen among 900+ global entries. Non-fiction category (2016)

CIHR New Investigator Award. HIV/AIDS Services/Population Health Research. (2009-2014)

CIHR Postdoctoral Research Fellowship. (Fellowship refused, to take up assistant professorship at SFU); ‘Examining the relation between sexual subjectivity and HIV-vulnerability among sexual minorities in Karnataka’ (2007-2008)

Wenner-Gren Post-PhD Research Grant. ‘Willing to Be Empowered: Sexual Minority Rights, Science, and Technologies of the Self’, University of Manitoba (2006-2007)

International Centre for Infectious Diseases CIHR Postdoctoral Research Fellowship: ‘Making sexual history in Mysore: Sexual subjectivity and HIV prevention among MSM in South India’, University of Manitoba (2006-2008)

SSHRC Postdoctoral Research Fellowship. ‘Sexuality, Health and Citizenship (Namibia),’ McGill University (2008)

The Lorna Marshall Award in Cultural Anthropology. Doctoral Research Award, University of Toronto.

The Ontario Foundation Graduate Award. Doctoral Research Fellowship, University of Toronto (2003)

Doctoral Fellowship, University of Toronto (2000-2004)

Contact us

Community Health Sciences
Max Rady College of Medicine
Room S113 - 750 Bannatyne Avenue
University of Manitoba (Bannatyne campus)
Winnipeg, MB R3E 0W3 Canada