Frances Norwood

Professor Frances Norwood
Assistant Research Professor in Anthropology
No on-campus office
[email protected]

Areas of Expertise

Long-term care and end-of-life health policy; healthy aging, disability; spirituality and health; independent living and aging in place; health care reform and health policy; critical medical anthropology; qualitative and quantitative methods.

Dr. Norwood is a medical anthropologist with interests in disability, end-of-life, euthanasia, aging, long-term care, spirituality and health, and innovations in long-term care and end of life health policy.  She was President of the Washington Association of Professional Anthropologists in 2015-16.

Current Research

Dr. Norwood is conducting research with a colleague at GW on the implications of total pain in the ED encounter, exploring the relevance of non-physical aspects of pain in the clinical encounter. She also regularly works on long-term care and end-of-life research, including a recent study of innovations in long-term care in The Netherlands and the U.S.

For more on her research, visit Dr. Norwood's website.

To see Dr. Norwood's complete CV, click here.


Ph.D. 2005, University of California-San Francisco and Berkeley
M.A. 1994, American University
B.A. 1989, University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill



2009  Norwood, F. The Maintenance of Life: Preventing Social Death Through Euthanasia Talk and End-of-Life Care, Lessons from the Netherlands. Ethnographic Studies in Medical Anthropology. Durham, NC: Carolina Academic Press. Published in French as Mourir un acte de vie. Trans. Pierre Viens and Lise Laberge. Quebec: Presses de l'Université Laval, 2010. Winner of the 2011 Margaret Mead Award.

Selected Articles and Book Chapters

Under review.  Norwood, F. "Transforming Long Term Care: Fostering Social Reciprocity and Preventing Social Death Through Form and Practice in The Netherlands."  In The Cultural Context of Aging:  Worldwide Perspectives, 4th edition, Jay Sokolovsy, ed.  CT: Praeger Publishers.

Under contract.  Norwood, F. The New Normal:  Death and Dying in the United States.  In A Companion to the Anthropology of Death,  Antonius C. G. M. Robben, ed.  Hoboken, NJ: John Wiley & Sons.

2015  Norwood, F. "End-of-Life Choices." In International Encyclopedia of the Social and Behavioral Sciences, 2nd ed. Oxford, UK: Elsevier Limited.

2013  Norwood, F.  “A Window into Dutch Life and Death:  Euthanasia and End-of-Life in the Public-Private Space of Home,” in Transitions and Transformations:  Cultural Perspectives on the Life Course, edited by Caitrin Lynch and Jason Danely.   Berghahn Publishers, NY.

2009  Norwood, F., G. Kimsma, and M. P. Battin. "Vulnerability and the 'slippery slope' at the end-of-life: A qualitative study of euthanasia, general practice and home death in the Netherlands," Family Practice, published online Oct. 14, 2009. doi: 10.1093/fampra/cmp065.

2007  Norwood, F. "Nothing more to do: Euthanasia, general practice, and end-of-life discourse in the Netherlands," Medical Anthropology 26(2): 139-174.

2006  Norwood, F. "A hero and a criminal: Dutch Huisartsen and the making of good death through euthanasia talk in the Netherlands," Medische Antropologie 18(2): 329-347.

2006  Norwood, F. "The ambivalent chaplain: Negotiating structural and ideological difference on the margins of modern-day hospital medicine," Medical Anthropology 25(1): 1-29. Reprinted as April 2006 Article-of-the-Month on Association for Clinical Pastoral Education (ACPE) website

Classes Taught

Research only..

Anth 3531/6531: Methods in Sociocultural Anthropology
Anth 6391: Topics: Life, Death and Modernity


Last updated December 28, 2016