Past event

The Anthropology of Health and Wellbeing

Want to learn more about how anthropology can inform understandings in health and wellbeing? Join University of St Andrews Anthropology Society for an Anthropology of Health and Wellbeing webinar where speakers from the department will share their plethora of research and experiences on related issues. Whether it is researching art therapy in Namibia to eco-anxiety in climate activists -- the speakers will touch upon a wide range of topics that would surely make for a great discussion.


Dr. Bridget Bradley

Dr. Bridget Bradley is a lecturer at the University of St Andrews. Bridget's doctoral research examined a group of complex mental disorders known as body-focused repetitive behaviours (BFRBs), in particular compulsive hair pulling (trichotillomania) and skin picking (dermatillomania). The research followed the ways that people with BFRBs move through diagnosis, towards sociality, and how relatedness influences patient activism and community-building. She has conducted multi-sited ethnographic research in the United Kingdom and United States, and uses methods of auto-ethnography and virtual ethnography. Bridget considers herself an applied anthropologist, and is involved in ongoing advocacy work with the BFRB community, collaborating with her interlocutors to raise awareness and improve support options in the UK. Bridget's new research continues her interest in mental health and community activism, and focuses on experiences of eco-anxiety with climate activists and their families in Britain.

Dr. Mattia Fumanti

Dr. Mattia Fumanti is a Senior Lecturer at the University of St. Andrews. Mattia's research interests in health and wellbeing has been informed by his work with Namibian mental health practitioners and artists on an interdisciplinary research project exploring mental illness in contemporary Namibia. In July 2016, Mattia was awarded the 'Wellcome Trust Seed Award', for the project entitled 'Narratives of Mental Illness in Contemporary Namibia'. This project proposed to open a comparative understanding of mental illness in contemporary Namibia through in-depth, inter-disciplinary research that illuminates the present postcolonial moment in the light of the colonial past while it discloses breaks along with continuities in discourse and practice. Patients and families-centred accounts, largely neglected in the existing literature, have figured notably in this project. Focusing this illumination on Namibia, most specifically, the research addressed two interrelated themes: the 'content of madness', that is, the patients' subjective illness narratives and their subsequent medicalization; and 'the emotional world' of insanity which encompasses the pro-active engagement of families insofar as they re-direct, support and/or oppose the medical intervention among their kin.

Dr. Salma Siddique

Dr. Salma Siddique is an academic and clinical (psychotherapist) anthropologist based in Scotland. She obtained her doctorate in anthropology from the University of St. Andrews and later qualified as a UKCP registered psychotherapist and clinical supervisor. Salma's main research teaching is based on the dialogue between psychoanalysis, psychotherapy and anthropology and is influenced by her clinical experience working with people in trauma resulting from oppression, abuse, torture, fleeing disaster and conflict zones. She is a contributor to research writing as a clinical anthropologist. Her work and practice engage with the tension between collective guilt and personal responsibility examined from the witnessing of identity and belonging through displaced lives, racism and systemic oppression.

Dr. Laura Roe

Dr. Laura Roe is a postdoctoral research fellow at the University of St Andrews working on heroin and poly-drug use in Scotland, specifically exploring how time and temporality shape experiences of addiction and in turn how addiction affects senses of time. The research aims to re-orient medical understandings of addiction towards social and historical perspectives, and explore concepts of timelessness, feelings of ‘abyss' in time, and senses of time as endlessly repetitive.

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