Lectures

Fragments of a Transient Affliction: “Mass Hysteria” and the Question of Subjectivity

A study of “mass hysteria” is a study of fragments of a phenomenon in its absence. Absent because of its transient nature; the affliction appears suddenly, without warning, spreading and transferring from one person to another, and then suddenly it dissipates and is gone. People cautiously return to their lives, unsure when another outbreak might occur. How to study a …

Books

Autism in Translation: An Intercultural Conversation on Autism Spectrum Conditions (Eds. Elizabeth Fein and Clarice Rios)

Autism in Translation: An Intercultural Conversation on Autism Spectrum Conditions

Edited by Elizabeth Fein and Clarice Rios

Palgrave Macmillan, 2018. 304 pages.

Autism in Translation: An Intercultural Conversation on Autism Spectrum Conditions—an edited collection out of the Society of Psychological Anthropology’s (SPA) Culture, Mind and Society series—aims to contextualize the different social and political histories of, treatments for, and …

FeaturesTeaching Resources

Ethnography Labs: Unpacking Ethnographic Narrative

This article is part of the series:

My first experience teaching an ethnographic text to a classroom full of students was rocky. My attempts to draw them out into making connections between the ethnographic materials and our big course questions were met with silence. I, panicked, asked ever more concrete questions about the text, while the silence slowly turned stony until a chatty student desperately regurgitated some …

Features

Why I Make Ethnographic Films (Instead of Writing a Monograph…)

This post is largely unaltered from its original form on the new blog Psychocultural Cinema, which focuses on the intersection of medical and psychological anthropology with ethnographic and documentary filmmaking.

Orwell was once asked by his editor to address the question “why I write.” Orwell, in his typically clear and direct manner, listed a range of reasons, from personal …

Teaching Resources

Illness and subjectivity: a syllabus

When I was in graduate school during the early 2000s, there was a lot of discussion taking place about “subjectivity.”  I found much of this conversation deeply confusing, in part because so little was being done pedagogically to sort out the work being carried out under this term from research under a number of cognate rubrics such as “self” and …

Teaching Resources

Syllabi on culture and mental health

These two courses, one undergraduate and the other graduate, explore the cultural patterning of mental health and healing, of psychological flourishing and disorder. Both courses aim to help students appreciate how the cultural anthropological analysis of mental health can be enriched by (neuro)biological and psychological/ clinical perspectives. The undergraduate course has a “science and technology studies” feel to it, exploring …