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Heidi Bludau, PhD

Lecturer, Applied Anthropology

Career Advising Mentor

Living and Learning Faculty Coordinator

PhD, Indiana University

MEd, Texas A&M University

BA, Texas A&M University

Office: Howard Hall, Room 334

Phone: 732-571-4479


Web site: Heidi Bludau

Regularly Taught Courses:

Cultural Anthropology

Culture, Health and Illness

Ethnographic Methods

Applied Anthropology

Food and Culture

Life's a Beach

Research Interests:

Dr. Bludau's research program centers on the professional identity of healthcare workers, primarily nurses.  The project that served as the basis of her dissertation was an examination of global healthcare migration through the recruitment and migration of Czech nurses; Saudi Arabia is their primary destination site. She uses a critical and applied approach to medical anthropology in order to examine the Czech and Saudi national healthcare systems and policies in relation to individual motivations for migration. A key element is the position of healthcare labor recruiters as a node in the migration chain.  A large part of her research consisted of an organizational analysis of a Czech recruitment firm in which she was embedded for almost a year.

Most recently, Dr. Bludau, along with colleagues in the Department of Nursing, have launched an interdisciplinary project analyzing nursing education programs to determine crucial elements of socialization and professional identity development.  This longitudinal study will explore the different stages of professional identity formation, through the professional socialization, and development of emotional intelligence and power that take place during BSN Education.The research team consider professional socialization, emotional intelligence and power to be pillars of professional identity development.  A goal of this study is to help alleviate national and global problems of meeting nursing shortages. 

Dr. Bludau considers herself a cultural anthropologist with specializations in medical and applied anthropology. Her theoretical and geographical interests include globalization and Europe, respectively.

Professional Associations:

Membership and Public Relations Chair, Society for the Anthropology of Europe (2015-2017)

Convener, Soyuz (Post-Communist Cultural Studies Interest Group) (2013-2015)

Selected Works:

Scholarly Articles:

2017. "Hindered Care:Institutional Obstructions to Carework and Professionalism in CzechNursing."  Anthropology of Work Review 38 (1):8-17. doi: 10.1111/awr.12108.

2015  H. Bludau. Creating a Transnational Labor Chain between Eastern Europe and the Middle East: A case study in healthcare. InterDisciplines 6(1):95-120.

2014. H. Bludau.  The Power of Protocol: Professional identity development and governmentality in post-socialist healthcare. Special issue, "Health and Medicine: Post-socialist perspectives," Czech Sociological Review 50(6):875-896.

2011. H. Bludau. Producing Transnational Nurses: Agency and Subjectivity in Global Health Care Labor Migration Recruitment Practices. Special issue, "Health and Care Work in Postsocialist Eastern Europe and the former Soviet Union," Anthropology of East Europe Review. 29(1):94-108.

2013. H. Bludau and P. Ezzeddine. Seeing Gender in Migration: An Introduction. Special issue,“Gender and Family in Migration,” Lidé Města/Urban People. 15(2):179-184. *special co-edited by Petra Ezzeddine and Heidi Bludau


"Grandma Got Run Over by a Reindeer…Can I have an Extension, Please?" posted Dec 22, 2015,  General Anthropology Division (American Anthropological Association) - Teaching Anthropology Blog