Carolyn Schwarz

Associate ProfessorSociology and Anthropology

Carolyn Schwarz is an anthropologist whose research focuses on faith-based health care delivery in the United States. She has taken an ethnographic approach to studying the moral and social dimensions of Health Care Sharing Ministries (HCSMs), which are non-profit, faith-based organizations that some Americans join instead of paying for health insurance. That project considered how people understand their HCSM participation in relation to their health care needs and to their broader views about what it means to live a good life. Currently, she is interested in faith-based health care professionals and is researching the ways these professionals practice their faith in clinical settings and assign meaning to their daily health care work with patients. Many of the courses that she teaches draw upon these areas of expertise and offer a more general grounding in anthropological theory and method. Her courses cover such topics as medicine and healing, cultural ideas of wellbeing and personhood, alternative food movements, the human life course, and health care delivery, to name but a few.  

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Schwarz, C. 2021. “Freed from Insurance: Health Care Sharing Ministries and the Moralization of Health Care.” Social Science & Medicine 268: (Epub 2020 Oct 17)

Schwarz, C. 2020. “Paying for Something Bigger: The Sentiment of Sociality and Health Care Sharing Ministries in the United States.” Anthropological Quarterly 93(4):625-652.

Schwarz, C. 2019. “Thrifting for More: Savings and Aspirations in Healthcare Sharing Ministries after the Affordable Care Act.” Medical Anthropology Quarterly.

Schwarz, C. 2018. “Eating Morality: Food and the Goodness of Care in Northern Aboriginal Australia.” The Asia Pacific Journal of Anthropology 19(1):19-34.

Schwarz, C. 2018. “We’re Here to Worship God: Aboriginal Christians and the Political Dimensions of Personhood.” In Peoples and Change in Indigenous Australia, edited by D. Austin-Broos and F. Merlan, 146-162. Honolulu: University of Hawaii Press.

Magowan, F. and C. Schwarz, eds. 2016. Christianity, Conflict, and Renewal in Australia and the Pacific. Leiden: Brill. 

Schwarz, C. 2016. "In Search of Wellness: Christianity and Life Itself in Northern Aboriginal Australia." In Christianity, Conflict, and Renewal in Australia and the Pacific, edited by F. Magowan and C. Schwarz, 161-182. Leiden: Brill.  

Schwarz, C. 2016. "Feminisms, Aboriginal Australia and Torres Strait Islands." In The Wiley-Blackwell Encyclopedia of Gender and Sexuality Studies, edited by N. Naples, Vol. 2, 618-623. Oxford: Wiley-Blackwell.  

Schwarz, C. and F. Dussart. 2010. "Christianity in Aboriginal Australia Revisited." Special issue, Engaging Christianity in Aboriginal Australia, C. Schwarz and F. Dussart, eds. The Australian Journal of Anthropology  21(1):1-13.    

Schwarz, C. 2010a. "Carrying the Cross, Caring for Kin: The Everyday Life of Charismatic Christianity in Remote Aboriginal Australia." Oceania  80(1):58-77.  

Schwarz, C. 2010b. "Sick Again, Well Again: Sorcery, Christianity, and Kinship in Northern Aboriginal Australia." Anthropological Forum 20(1):61-80.  

External Awards, Honors, Grants

Project Pericles Up to Us Voting Modules Fellow, 2021-2022

Faculty Affairs Committee Summer Research Grant, Goucher College, 2015 

Research and Creative Endeavors Award, Research and Office of Sponsored Programs at the State University of New York at Potsdam, 2009 

University of Connecticut Humanities Institute Graduate Student Dissertation Fellowship, 2005-2006 

Australian Institute of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Studies (AIATSIS) Research Grant #G2004/6934, 2004-2005 

Institute of International Education Fulbright Grant, 2003-2004 

Conference Papers & Panel Participation

“Faith in Medicine: Caring for Patients as Persons in Free and Low-Cost Christian-Based Clinics.” The Society for Applied Anthropology Annual Meeting. Cincinnati, Ohio. March 30, 2023.

“Care and Moral Striving: The Contours of Well-Being in Healthcare Sharing Ministries.” Paper presented at the American Anthropological Association Annual Meeting. San José, California, November 4-18, 2018.

“Not Insured but Not Uninsured Either: The Unusual Position of Healthcare Sharing Ministries in the United States.” Paper presented at the Society for Applied Anthropology Annual Meeting, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, April 3-7, 2018.

"Working Together for God and Our Health: The Collaborative Engagements of Healthcare Sharing Ministries." Paper presented at the Society for Cultural Anthropology Biennial Meeting. Ithaca, New York, May 13-14, 2016.

“Well-Being and the Moral Weight of Food: Everyday Christianity in Northern Aboriginal Australia." Paper presented at the American Anthropological Association Annual Meeting. Washington, District of Columbia, December 3-7, 2014.

“Work and Working to Be Well: The Everyday of Chronic Illness in Northern Aboriginal Australia.” Paper presented at the Society for Cultural Anthropology Biennial Meeting. Detroit, Michigan, May 9-10, 2014.

“The Promise of Healthy Persons: Christianity, Faith, and Sickness in Northern Aboriginal Australia.” Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the American Anthropological Association. Montreal, Quebec, November 16-20, 2011.