Aaron Denham is an anthropologist, author, educator, and researcher. His most noted projects explore the spirit child phenomenon and infanticide in Ghana and historical trauma in indigenous communities.
Denham specializes in topics related to human experience; global health; international development; childhood; mental health; culture and meaning-making; and people’s experiences of misfortune, uncertainty, and disorder. His core theoretical interest is in how cultural, psychodynamic, phenomenological, and structural forces intersect and shape human experience.
Denham’s published in journals such as Social Science and Medicine, Current Anthropology, Transcultural Psychiatry, Ethos, Ghana Studies, and in various book chapters. Denham’s first book, Spirit Children: Illness, Poverty, and Infanticide in Northern Ghana, was published by the University of Wisconsin Press. He was a fellow of the American Psychoanalytic Association. Denham also won the 2016 Boyer Prize for Contributions to Psychoanalytic Anthropology.
He is currently writing a book-length selection of essays (many of which are available here). Look for his latest creative nonfiction in Deep Wild: Writing from the Backcountry July 2020.
Originally from Idaho, he has lived and worked throughout the U.S., Canada, Ghana, and Australia. Denham was an assistant professor of anthropology at Northern Arizona University and a senior lecturer in anthropology and the director of the Development Studies Program at Macquarie University in Sydney. He was also recently a part of the Global Health Program at University of California San Diego and was a lead researcher for the XPRIZE Foundation. He currently is an honorary associate professor at Macquarie University.