Elizabeth Turk

Dr Elizabeth Turk


  • Position Governing Body Fellow Junior Research Fellow
  • School Humanities and Social Sciences Department of Social Anthropology
  • Email eht24@cam.ac.cuk
  • Department link Social Anthropology

Elizabeth is a Research Associate and Affiliated Lecturer in the Department of Social Anthropology.

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Elizabeth Turk

Elizabeth earned her doctorate in Social Anthropology from the University of Cambridge (Selwyn College) in 2018. She began research in 2010 as a Fulbright Scholar exploring shamanic healing practices in Mongolia, specifically the connection between spiritual illness and the forecasted mining boom. Elizabeth earned her MA in Sociocultural Anthropology from Columbia University in 2013, where she also held the role of Postdoctoral Research Scholar and Lecturer in 2019-2020. As a Cultural Heritage Fellow, Elizabeth was funded by the American Center for Mongolian Studies and Henry Luce Foundation in 2016 to explore mineral springs and associated health practices in Mongolia.

In addition to teaching at both undergraduate and graduate levels in the Department of Social Anthropology, Elizabeth has been Director of Studies in Social Anthropology at Corpus Christi College. Alongside her current position as Research Associate, she is also a Curatorial Consultant for the National Museum of Qatar.

Elizabeth’s research explores health-related practices and strategies in Mongolia, with particular focus on ‘alternative’ and nature-based therapies. Her doctoral dissertation traced entanglements of body, natural environment and national identity as Mongolians find renewed interest in therapeutic heritage once denigrated as ‘superstition’ by the state. It looks at how Mongolians today navigate the multiple authorities on health and well-being.

Her current work builds on the doctoral research, as part of a project in the Department of Social Anthropology entitled ‘Mongolian Cosmopolitical Heritage: Tracing Divergent Healing Practices Across the Mongolian-Chinese Border’, funded by the Arts and Humanities Research Council.

While the project ethnographically explores the politics of linking health and cultural heritage, the research scope has shifted slightly in the wake of the pandemic, to focus on how healing practices – ‘traditional’, bio-medical, and the many intersections in between – are mobilized to prevent and treat COVID-19.

Ultimately, this research will illuminate the ways in which public administration and national constructions of culture shape practices that influence health and wellbeing.

What's on

Two nature photographs, one of someone hiking and one of a hare.

Open Call: Wolf Words Poetry Anthology 2024

27/11/2023 at 09.00

We are excited to launch an open call for the second edition of our Wolf Words Poetry Anthology; this year our theme is Wild. 

WRE 2023 - an audience member asking a question

Writing an abstract workshop

30/11/2023 at 19.00

This workshop is organised to help students prepare to be part of the Wolfson Research Event 2024.


A photo of a pocket watch open for repair

A Duty to Repair?

01/12/2023 at 18.00

How can you introduce protection of the environment into consumer contract law when this is detrimental to the protection of the consumer?

Artwork of white tree with an orange sky in the background by Tim Head.

Art Exhibition: 'How It Is'

02/12/2023 at 10.00

Visit Wolfson's latest exhibition 'How It Is' featuring work by the influential British artist Tim Head.

Hand holding a lightbulb in front of the sky

Entrepreneurship Workshop for Students

02/12/2023 at 13.00

An interactive session during which students can gain insight into the sphere of entrepreneurship.