The articles in this special issue demonstrate, through ethnographic fieldwork and
observations, how anthropologists and the methodological tools of their discipline became
a means of understanding the Ebola outbreak in West Africa during 2014 and 2015. The
examples, from Liberia, Guinea and Sierra Leone, show how anthropologists were involved in
the Ebola outbreak at different points during the crisis and the contributions their work made.
Discussing issues including health promotion, gender, quarantine and Ebola survivors, the
authors show the diverse roles played by anthropologists and the different ways in which they
made use of the tools of their discipline. The case studies draw upon the ethical, methodological
and logistical challenges of conducting fieldwork during a crisis such as this one and offer
reflections upon the role of anthropology in this context.
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