Dr Ted Powers


     Ph.D. (CUNY Graduate Center)



Powers is currently a Senior Lecturer in the Department of Anthropology and Archaeology at the University of Pretoria. Previously, he was a Postdoctoral Fellow with the Human Economy program from February 2012 to January 2014. Starting in September 2014, Powers will be taking up the position of Assistant Professor in the Department of Anthropology at the University of Iowa. He can be contacted at [email protected].

Powers’s research focuses on the South African HIV/AIDS epidemic as a lens for understanding transnational forces, the South African public health sector and the social dynamics of the post-apartheid era. For his dissertation research, entitled HIV/AIDS, the post-apartheid state, and the limits of transnational governance in South Africa, Powers analysed the political dynamics surrounding the HIV/AIDS epidemic in the townships of Khayelitsha, Nyanga and Gugulethu with a focus on the ways that politics in these areas interacted with municipal, provincial, national and international forces. This research cast critical light on theories of transnationalism that point to a declining role of the state due to international political and economic forces, while underscoring the significance of scale in analyses of politics in the global era.

Powers’s ongoing research focuses on the South African National AIDS Council, the role of social alliances in the development of public health policy, and the political process through which health infrastructure has been developed in peri-urban townships during the post-apartheid era.


Some of Ted’s recent publications are:

Powers, Theodore. 2013. Institutions, Power and Para-State Political Alliances: A critical reassessment of HIV/AIDS politics in South Africa, 1999-2008. Journal of Modern African Studies 51(4): 605-626.

Powers, Theodore. 2013. Institutions and the Social Change: A case study of the South African National AIDS Council. Anthropology Southern Africa 36(3&4): 116-123.

Powers, Theodore. 2012. Institutionalising Dissent: HIV/AIDS, the post-apartheid state, and the limits of transnational governance in South Africa. Journal of Southern African Studies 38(3): 531-549.


Last edited by Lena Gronbach

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