Women and Gender Studies
College of Humanities and Social Sciences

Cortney Hughes Rinker

Cortney Hughes Rinker

Cortney Hughes Rinker

Assistant Professor

Medical anthropology, Islam, aging and end-of-life care, Science and Technology Studies, gender, reproductive technologies, Middle East and North Africa and the United States

Cortney Hughes Rinker earned her Ph.D. in Anthropology from the University of California, Irvine with emphases in Feminist Studies and Medicine, Science, and Technology Studies. Her teaching and research interests are in medical anthropology, Islam, aging and end-of-life care, public policy, reproduction, Middle East Studies, development, science and technology, and applied anthropology. She conducted long-term research (2005-2009) on reproductive healthcare among working-class women in Rabat, Morocco, which turned into her book Islam, Development, and Urban Women’s Reproductive Practices (Routledge 2013). This research focused on the ways the country’s new development policies impact how childbearing and childrearing practices are promoted to women and how women incorporate these practices into their ideas of citizenship. AnthroWorks, a popular academic blog, selected her dissertation on this subject as one of the Top 40 North American Dissertations in Cultural Anthropology for 2010. Before joining George Mason, Cortney was a postdoctoral fellow at the Arlington Innovation Center for Health Research at Virginia Tech where she worked in conjunction with a healthcare organization in southwest Virginia developing projects to improve end-of-life care and psychiatric services in a rural Appalachian town. She is currently engaged in three research projects. The first examines the role of Islam in end-of-life care and examines how Islamic beliefs about the body, illness, and death intersect with policies, practices, and standards in the United States health care system. She conducts ethnographic research primarily in the Washington, D.C. area. The second project focuses on the experience of pain during terminal illness in Morocco. She has a particular interest in the use of pain medication and how laws and regulations surrounding prescriptions impact people’s bodies and physical suffering. The third study looks at how religious apps for the iPhone and similar devices help people (Jewish, Muslim, and Christian) develop or carry out their faith and how people consider themselves to be religious within the context of neoliberalism and mobility. Cortney has published articles in peer-reviewed journals, including Medical Anthropology Quarterly, the Arab Studies Journal, Medical Anthropology, the Interdisciplinary Journal of Research on Religion, and the Journal of Telemedicine and e-Health. A chapter of hers appears in the edited volume Anthropology of the Middle East and North Africa: Into the New Millennium (Indiana University Press, 2013) and she has been a guest on WVTF Roanoke to discuss end-of-life care. Cortney also co-edited (with Sheena Nahm) and contributed to Applied Anthropology: Unexpected Spaces, Topics, and Methods (Routledge, 2016) and serves as the co-editor of Anthropology & Aging (2017-19), the official publication of the Association for Association for Anthropology, Gerontology, and the Life Course.

Cortney Hughes Rinker will teach ANTH 308 & ANTH 381 in Spring 2017.

Selected Publications

Religious Apps for Smartphones and Tablets: Reconstructing Authority, Community, and the Nature of Religion, Interdisciplinary Journal of Research on Religion, 12:1-14, 2016. Co-authored with Jesse Roof, Emily Harvey, Elyse Bailey, and Hannah Embler.

Islam, Development, and Urban Women’s Reproductive Practices. New York:Routledge, 2013.

"A Place to Belong: Colonial Pasts, Modern Discourses, and Contraceptive Practices in Morocco." In Anthropology of the Middle East and North Africa: Into the New Millennium, edited by Sherine Hafez and Susan Slyomovics, 239-257. Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 2013.

Responsible Mothers, Anxious Women: Contraception, Modernization, and Neoliberalism in Morocco. Arab Studies Journal 21(2013): 97-121, 2013. Responsible Mothers, Anxious Women

Stress, Survival, and Success in Academia 2.0: Lessons from Working Inside and Outside of the Academy. Practicing Anthropology 35(2013): 40-43. Co-authored with Sheena Nahm. Stress, Survival, and Success in Academia 2.0

Technologies in the Patient Centered Medical Home: Examining the Model from an Enterprise Perspective. Journal of Telemedicine and e-Health 17(2011): 1-6. Co-authored with CAPT R. Marshall, E. Murphy, and SK Mun.
Technologies in the Patient-Centered Medical Home