Dr Tom Widger is an anthropologist with broad interests in global health, development and environment. Tom obtained his PhD from the London School of Economics in 2009, and has since held research fellowship positions at Brunel University and the University of Sussex. He is also a Visiting Fellow at the University of Colombo.
Tom's doctoral research was an ethnographic study of suicide and self-harm in Sri Lanka. This has produced a series of articles and an edited volume developing an anthropological perspective on suicide, culminating in a monograph Suicide in Sri Lanka: The anthropology of an epidemic.
As a post-doctoral researcher, Tom has conducted an extensive study of charity, philanthropy, and corporate social responsibility in Sri Lanka, funded by ESRC-DfID. In 2014 he was awarded a Wellcome Trust Research Fellowship for the project, 'Pesticides and Global Health: An Ethnographic Study of Agrochemical Lives.'
The Forum for Suicide and Culture Research is an online resource for cross-cultural suicide researchers and interventionists. The Forum provides links to news, publications, reviews, and resources, with a particular focus on ethnographic and qualitative methodologies, and culturally, socially, and medically innovative approaches.
Why people kill themselves remains an enduring and unanswered question. With a focus on Sri Lanka, a country that for several decades has reported ‘epidemic’ levels of suicidal behaviour, this book develops a unique perspective, linking the causes and meanings of suicidal practices to social processes across moments, lifetimes, and history.
Suicide in Sri Lanka: The Anthropology of an Epidemic will be published by Routledge in 2014.
© Tom Widger 2010