Keynotes

Allan Young

Allan Young

Marjorie Bronfman Professor, Social Studies in Medicine, Anthropology and Psychiatry, McGill University

Abstract

Has the brain a mind of its own?

I discuss the emergence of the Bayesian Brain in cognitive neuroscience and psychiatric discourse and research, and how this development will, in the future, challenge anthropology’s current understanding of culture and human nature. I focus on the variable and kaleidoscopic communications reaching the brain from other parts of the body (cenesthesis).

Bio

Allan Young is a professor in the Departments of Social Studies of Medicine, Anthropology, and Psychiatry, at McGill University (Montreal). The target of his ethnographic research and writing since the 1980s has been psychiatric science and conceptions of the past.

Margaret Lock

Margaret Lock

Marjorie Bronfman Professor Emerita, Departments of Anthropology and Social Studies of Medicine, McGill University

Abstract
The Embedded Psyche: The Anthropocene, Postgenomics, and the Microbiome

We live now in the epoch of the Anthropocene, so called because human activities have brought about lasting destruction to the globe, with significant consequences for human development, health and illness. Furthermore, the HGP made clear that the genome does not determine whom we are but, rather, is reactive to environmental stimuli external and internal to the body, again with lasting results on human development and wellbeing. Environments, increasingly human-made, are in the driver’s seat. In this paper it is suggested that the concept of the psyche should be understood as a malleable entity acted upon endlessly at the molecular level by epigenetic stimuli over which individuals very often have little control. Certain stimuli are positive, others highly toxic. Illustrative examples will be given in this talk ranging from the long term effects of epigenetic markers on the placenta and a developing fetus, to the epigenetics of social isolation, nutrition, and aging. The inter-generational transmission of the epigenetic effects of colonization, forced migration, war, famine, and other major trauma will also be considered with further illustrative examples. In closing, discussion will turn to the human microbiome, that is also perpetually modified by environmental stimuli, and its profound effect on neurological functioning.

Bio
Margaret Lock is Marjorie Bronfman Professor Emerita in the Departments of Anthropology and Social Studies of Medicine at McGill University. Her research focuses on embodiment, comparative epistemologies of medical knowledge, and the global impact of biomedical technologies. She is the author and/or co-editor of 18 books and over 220 articles. Encounters with Aging: Mythologies of Menopause in Japan and North America; Twice Dead: Organ Transplants and the Reinvention of Death; the co-authored An Anthropology of Biomedicine, and The Alzheimer Conundrum: Entanglements of Dementia and Aging are prize-winning volumes. Can Science Solve the Nature/Nurture Debate came out with Polity Press in 2016. Lock is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Canada, Officier de L’Ordre national du Québec, Officer of the Order of Canada, and elected Member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. In 2002 she received the Canada Council for the Arts Molson Prize, and in 2005 the Canada Council for the Arts Killam Prize, and a Trudeau Foundation Fellowship. In 2007 she was awarded the Gold Medal for Research by the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada (SSHRC); a Career Achievement Award, Society of Medical Anthropology in 2008 and in 2011 the McGill Medal for Exceptional Academic Achievement.

Participants

Dominique P. Béhague

Dominique P. Béhague

Associate Professor of Medicine, Health, and Society, Vanderbilt University

Abstract

In spite of and with the global psyche: trajectories of conflict, politics and justice in Pelotas, Brazil

What constitutes the clinic? How can we come to know the clinic — and the sciences that interact with it — without resorting to an overly teleological and “episteme-heavy” understanding of expertise? These questions are particularly timely in Brazil, where over the last 15 to 20 years, psychiatrists’ long-standing commitments to psychodynamic approaches and to Marxist-inspired social medicine have been challenged by the rise of biological and behaviorist models in psychiatry. Thinking with — and against — a form of analysis that explains this shifting landscape with reference to the recent globalization of biopsychiatric knowledge-forms, my research situates the clinic, historically and politically, through long-term and comparative ethnography. In my fieldwork, I followed a group of 96 young people from a full range of economic and social backgrounds for more than 10 years, from their 15th birthdays into adulthood. As I watched them grow up, flowing in and out of clinics and psycho-pedagogic initiatives in schools, I witnessed a wide range of life-trajectories and clinical forms co-materialize. In some of these, conflict, politics and the demand for social justice took clinical center-stage and nurtured a clinical-ontological form of becoming that interrupted long-standing inter-generational cycles of institutionalized violence, discrimination and gendered repression. Relative to the systems of oppression within which psychiatry has historically been intertwined — and indeed because of this intertwining — this clinical trajectory engenders a unique form of psychiatric productivity that, in the absence of a historic perspective, might otherwise remain invisible and under-theorized.

Bio

Dominique P. Béhague is a social anthropologist and critical health scholar. She is currently Associate Professor of Medicine, Health and Society at Vanderbilt University, Senior Lecturer at the Department of Social Science, Health & Medicine at King’s College London (summer term), and Honorary Senior Lecturer at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine. She holds a MA in Anthropology (Bryn Mawr College, USA), a PhD in Social Anthropology (2004, McGill University, Canada) and a MSc in Epidemiology (2009, London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine). Dominique’s long-term ethnographic and epidemiological research in Southern Brazil explores how different kinds of adolescent psychopathologies and developmental trajectories unfold in response to social, economic, political, and psychiatric interventions. She has also conducted research on the politics of evidence-production in global health. Both of these projects are underpinned by an interest in the social life of epistemic values and ontological practices.

Orkideh Behrouzan

Orkideh Behrouzan

Assistant Professor, Department of Global Health and Social Medicine, King’s College London

Discussant only

P. Sean Brotherton

P. Sean Brotherton

Associate Professor, Department of Anthropology and the College, University of Chicago

Abstract
Psychoanalysis as an “epistemic culture” in Buenos Aires

Scholars have long noted that the language of psychoanalysis has become almost ubiquitous in contemporary Argentina. It remains unexamined, however, how the theories and associated therapeutic techniques of this diverse field have produced an idiom through which different social actors and institutions articulate concerns about physical and mental well-being, as well as address social, economic, and political change. ‘Ghosts,’ to borrow sociologist Avery Gordon’s (2008) conceptual trope, abound in various Argentine narratives of suffering and trauma, personal and collective, and in various public and private testimonials of loss, betrayal, longing, and nostalgia. These sentiments, often consciously articulated, also circulate at the level of repressed thoughts, sublimated feelings, and artifacts and fragments of past experiences. Such apparitions, sometimes fleeting and intangible are made visible and find fertile ground in psychoanalytic sessions. This paper asks: What kinds of subjectivities emerge from psychoanalytic framings of the body, memory, and trauma? How are the discourses and practices of psychoanalysis reinforced, evaluated, transformed, challenged, spread, and inserted into everyday social interactions? How are notions of health and wellbeing changed through psychoanalytic practices, which identifies different psychopathologies and offers circumscribed interventions to address them?

Bio
P. Sean Brotherton is Associate Professor of Anthropology and Social Sciences at the University of Chicago. His scholarly interests are concerned with the critical study of health, medicine, the state, subjectivity, psychoanalysis, and the body. Over the past decade, he has been conducting ethnographic research on bodily practices, economic reform, and state power in Cuba’s primary health sector. He has published several articles and chapters on this research, including his first book, Revolutionary Medicine: Health and the Body in Post-Soviet Cuba (Duke UP, 2012). More recently he completed a project on Cuba’s medical humanitarian missions throughout the Americas as a lens to explore the emerging logics and counter-practices that are taking shape in relation to the larger enterprise of global health. His latest research explores psychoanalysis as an interpretative and therapeutic framework in the multiple spheres of quotidian life in Buenos Aires, Argentina.
Celina Callahan-Kapoor

Celina Callahan-Kapoor

Senior Lecturer, Medicine, Health, and Society, Vanderbilt University

Discussant only

Jocelyn Chua

Jocelyn Chua

Assistant Professor, Department of Anthropology, UNC Chapel Hill

Abstract
War on Drugs: The Spatial Mobility and Regulation of Psychiatric Medications in the Post-9/11 Wars

The post-9/11 wars in Iraq and Afghanistan have seen an historically unprecedented and marked turn to the widespread use of prescription psychiatric medications by United States military personnel, including those in combat. Focusing on SSRI and antianxiety medication use in current practices of US military psychiatry and combat stress control, in this paper I consider the new spatial mobility of FDA-approved psychiatric drugs into counterinsurgency environments, identifying points of friction that have impeded movement, and the clinical and regulatory mechanisms that have eased the flow. Playing off the concept of “bracket creep” – the expansion of categories of psychopathology into everyday behaviors – I analyze debates and policy shifts in military psychiatry and combat stress control to identify a prevailing cultural logic that I refer to as medication “spatial creep.” The logic of spatial creep constructs the movement of psychiatric drugs into combat environments and into the militarized corporate body as the inevitable result of broader civilian medication trends and the collateral effect of “lax” enlistment standards: a “smuggling in” of medications eased by regulatory standards of drug safety. I argue that this discourse of spatial creep mystifies the military operational logics that have propelled the use of FDA-approved psychiatric medications as a key technology in the production of contemporary counterinsurgency warfare. Furthermore, the logic of spatial creep levels differences between regimes of value and obscures the ontological transformations psychiatric medications undergo as they circulate into counterinsurgency environments of globalizing US military power.

Bio
Jocelyn Chua is Assistant Professor of Anthropology at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.  Her research focuses on the ethnographic study of suicide, death, and violence in the contemporary world, particularly the ways mental health sciences and practice intervene into these threshold experiences by endeavoring to reshape human capacities for living.  Her book, In Pursuit of the Good Life: Aspiration and Suicide in Globalizing South India (University of California Press, 2014) explores the social and political life of suicide in the south Indian state of Kerala. Her current research examines the unprecedented and marked turn to the use of prescription psychopharmaceuticals in the practice of US military psychiatry, and the resulting social lives and lived experiences of these medications for service members of America’s post-9/11 wars.
Beth Conklin

Beth Conklin

Associate Professor; Department Chair, Department of Anthropology, Vanderbilt University

Abstract

Configuring Biosocial Risk and Responsibility: A View from Native Amazonia

Certain trends emerging in the life sciences’ expert epistemologies resonate uncannily with the understandings of human biology around which indigenous peoples have organized their social lives for generations. As recognition of the continual malleability of bodies co-constituted in interaction with environmental exposures comes to the fore in microbiology, epigenetics, and other fields, non-Western societies offer comparative contexts to consider how local biologies based in similar principles participate in configurations of social value and ethics. This paper looks at how models of body and spirit in one indigenous society, the Wari’ of western Brazil, put responsibility for controlling biopolitical risk and the emotions of others at the center of notions of competence, status, and masculinity. Wari’ ways of managing trauma, loss, and suffering offer comparative insights into how the global psyche coalescing in the West may fit into rethinking the value of work, economy, and politics around ethics of care, resilience, and social responsibility.

Angela Garcia

Angela Garcia

Associate Professor, Department of Anthropology, Stanford University

Abstract

Captivity, Coercion, Ethics: On Drug Recovery in Mexico

This paper explores captivity in Mexico City’s ubiquitous anexos, informal rehabilitation centers for disenfranchised drug users. It focuses on the anexo as an experiential terrain closely tied to concrete realities, where captivity and coercion are not just dangers to social and psychic life, but also resources for them. In doing so, this paper challenges the ideal of autonomy as a universal value in contemporary biomedicine and human rights, and offers an approach to ethics that is derived from living under the stress of captivity and coercion.

Bio

Angela Garcia is associate professor of anthropology at Stanford University. She is the author of The Pastoral Clinic: Addiction and Dispossession Along the Rio Grande (2010).

Cristiana Giordano

Cristiana Giordano

Associate Professor, Department of Anthropology, UC Davis

Abstract
The Psychic Life of Drawings

Since the beginning of 2015, an unprecedented number of people from Middle Eastern and African countries have been crossing borders into and within Europe from the Mediterranean, the Balkans, through the English Channel, and other entry points throughout Europe. This time has been described by the media and various political actors as an “emergency” and a “crisis” that challenges the very core of European values and human rights principles. Calling this time an emergency implies responding to it, on the one hand, with humanitarian and medical gestures of saving lives, and, on the other, with stricter borders control. In this paper, I reflect on the grammar of crisis and the forms of care that it simultaneously enables and disables. To operate under the banner of a “crisis” precludes understanding of other grammars of care and psychic experiences that exceed any biomedical translation. I draw from a new project on art and theater that I am conducting in Siracusa, Sicily, with a group of young African men who, according to the law, qualify as “unaccompanied foreign minors” and are currently waiting to apply for asylum or humanitarian protection in Italy. It is a project on practices that bear witness to other grammars, or the lack thereof. These practices are the expression of a denial, or, better, of an interruption in the language of the crisis and pathology. They affirm the potential of other ways of experiencing – outside the crisis – through art, and of mourning – outside pathology – through objects, installations, and paintings.

Bio
Cristiana Giordano is Associate Professor of Anthropology at UC Davis. She works on foreign migration, mental health, and cultural translation in contemporary Italy. Her research addresses the politics of migration in Europe through the lens of ethno-psychiatry and its radical critique of psychiatric, legal, and moral categories of recognition of foreign others. She is the author of Migrants in Translation. Caring and the Logics of Difference in Contemporary Italy (University of California Press, 2014), winner of one of the 2016 Victor Turner Book Prizes. Her current research focuses on issues of migrant health in Europe through the lenses of scientific research on the microbial flora of new comers aimed at monitoring selected cohorts of migrants to understand the health challenges they may go through during their integration in the European society. She is also engaged in finding new forms of ethnographic writing through theater devices. She is writing a play with playwright and director Greg Pierotti on the current “refugee crisis” and the different temporalities of an “emergency” in the Mediterranean and Italy.
Stephan Heckers

Stephan Heckers

Chair of the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences; William P. and Henry B. Test Chair in Schizophrenia Research; Professor of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences; Professor of Radiology and Radiological Sciences; Professor of Psychology, Vanderbilt University

Discussant only

Hanna Kienzler

Hanna Kienzler

Lecturer, Department of Social Science, Health and Medicine; Director of the BSc in Global Health and Social Medicine, King’s College London

Abstract
When Treatment Makes the Patient

Increasingly mental health and psychosocial treatment approaches are transported to post-war development contexts as part of capacity building initiatives. These foresee the training of local health providers by foreign psychiatrists and psychologists in standardized diagnostic approaches and evidence-based, universally applicable treatment strategies. Underlying this course of action is a well-accepted biomedical logic which assumes that if symptoms are correctly identified, they can be translated into discrete mental disorders, and the disorders into forms of treatment. If the translation is correctly performed, its success should be measurable in terms of a positive influence on the course and outcome of distress and illness and an increase in resilience and effective coping among traumatized individuals.

In this talk I want to turn this logic on its head arguing that in resource poor countries, the translation is often performed counter-intuitively. That is, available treatment options (rather than symptoms) drive the establishment of matching diagnoses to which symptoms are then retrospectively assigned. I will develop this argument with ethnographic examples from my research in Kosovo where the poorly functioning health system and the limited treatment options forced practitioners to frame their patients as predominantly traumatized while ignoring the everyday stressors that affected their mental health and wellbeing. This forceful framing was achieved through what I call “civilizing rhetoric” that allowed practitioners to cast their patients as ill informed and lacking insight into the causes of their distress. Thereby, diagnostic personas emerged (i.e. ‘the traumatized’ or ‘the depressed’) that justified through an argumentum e contrario the application of available psychiatric treatments. Taken out of context such decisions and psychiatric practices appear not only inadequate, but also unprofessional and ethically questionable. Yet, they were not taken in the abstract, but within a context of lack, structural inadequacies and political insecurity all of which, I shall argue, shape therapeutic encounters and possibilities for providing care in very practical (though not evidence-based) ways.

Bio
Dr Hanna Kienzler is a lecturer in Department of Global Health and Social Medicine and Director of the BSc in Global Health and Social Medicine. She completed her PhD in cultural and medical anthropology in the Departments of Anthropology and Social Studies of Medicine at McGill University, Montreal, Canada. She also worked as a Postdoctoral Fellow in the Department of Psychiatry and the Psychosocial Research Division at the Douglas Mental Health University Institute at McGill University and as a Research Associate for the Trauma and Global Health (TGH) programme. She has a long-standing academic interest in the field of global health, in connection with organised violence, ethnic conflict, and complex emergencies, and their mental health outcomes. Within this broad field of enquiry, she is particularly interested in the social determinants of health and illness, gender based violence, trauma, post-traumatic stress disorders (PTSD), local idioms of distress, resilience, and local forms of healing as well as in the growing field of human rights and humanitarian and clinical interventions.

Hanna conducts long-term ethnographic research in Kosovo and the Palestinian Territories. In Kosovo, she investigated the impact of war, violence and trauma on Kosovar Albanian women. In particular, she examined the role of social and cultural factors affecting mental health and how Kosovar Albanian women think about and act on health problems by describing their beliefs about sickness, their decisions about how to act in response to particular episodes of sickness, and their expectations and evaluations of specific types of health care. Recently, she started a new transnational research project examining the interrelations between global health agendas and humanitarian and mental-health aid programs in both Kosovo and the Palestinian Territories.

Hanna teaches graduate and undergraduate modules on topics related to global (mental) health; social and cultural dimensions of health and illness; socio-cultural studies of the body; and violence, trauma and healing. It is especially important for her to directly include students in her work. Therefore, her teaching is research based and aims to foster interdisciplinarity, collegiality and constructive dialogue with biomedical researchers and practitioners, and with policy makers.

Laurence Kirmayer

Laurence Kirmayer

James McGill Professor and Director, Division of Social and Transcultural Psychiatry, Department of Psychiatry, McGill University

Abstract
Psychiatry in the Anthropocene

This presentation will examine the implications for global mental health of the “anthropocene” in which our context of adaptation is increasingly dominated by human effects on the environment. The Movement for Global Mental Health has focused on the immediate practical goals of bringing basic mental health care to people who have lacked professional resources. Advocates have made headway by appealing to the same economic, political and professional institutions that drive globalization. But the problems of mental health identified by the MGMH occur against the backdrop of much larger dilemmas that beset our planet: the dramatic increase of economic inequality both within and between countries, the destabilization or destruction of local and global ecosystems, and the rise of reactionary politics. These problems can be understood as consequences of globalization. This raises important questions for efforts to advance wellbeing with the tools of psychiatry and clinical psychology. To what extent do current efforts to address inequities in mental health contribute to the negative consequences of globalization? What ways of thinking about current global mental health issues can promote empathy, equity and effective action? Does the notion of “planetarization” offer a meaningful alternative to globalization for thinking about geopolitical and ecological crises? What are the links between care of the planet and care of the self? What cultural values and practices can contribute to adaptation, flourishing and well-being in the face of the massive environmental and social changes on the horizon?

Bio
Laurence J. Kirmayer, MD, FRCPC, FCAHS, FRSC is James McGill Professor and Director, Division of Social and Transcultural Psychiatry, Department of Psychiatry, McGill University and Director of the McGill Global Mental Health Program. He is Editor-in-Chief of Transcultural Psychiatry, and Director of the Culture & Mental Health Research Unit at the Institute of Community and Family Psychiatry, Jewish General Hospital in Montreal, where he conducts research on culturally responsive mental health services, the mental health of Indigenous peoples, and the anthropology of psychiatry. He founded and directs the annual Summer Program and Advanced Study Institute in Cultural Psychiatry at McGill. His current research includes studies on: culturally based, family centered mental health promotion for Indigenous youth; the use of cultural formulation in cultural consultation; and the place of culture in global mental health. He co-edited the volumes, Understanding Trauma: Integrating Biological, Clinical, and Cultural Perspectives (Cambridge University Press), Healing Traditions: The Mental Health of Aboriginal Peoples in Canada (University of British Columbia Press), Cultural Consultation: Encountering the Other in Mental Health Care (Springer), DSM-5 Handbook for the Cultural Formulation Interview (APPI), and Re-Visioning Psychiatry: Cultural Phenomenology, Critical Neuroscience and Global Mental Health (Cambridge). He is a Fellow of the Canadian Academy of Health Sciences and of the Royal Society of Canada (Academy of Social Sciences).
Junko Kitanaka

Junko Kitanaka

Professor, Department of Human Sciences, Faculty of Letters, Keio University

Abstract
Preventive Psychiatry by Popular Demand: Dementia Care and Screening in Japan

Despite the uproar from many experts about its potentially harmful consequences, a national campaign for treating and preventing dementia in Japan is currently in full force, backed up by the government, medical professionals and pharmaceutical companies and energized by popular demand. The media often features dementia-related programs where prevention looms large, including measures such as a healthier diet, more exercise, and routine screening via brain MRIs. The popular appeal of prevention is not surprising given that Japan is the world’s leading “super-aging society,” where a quarter of society is senior citizens, among whom one in four is said to already suffer from dementia or a dementia-like condition. As there is yet no cure for dementia, people are increasingly turning to self-monitoring and biomedical screening. The national campaign for dementia is the latest development in the recent resurgence of preventive psychiatry, whose sporadic rise and fall in the course of the 20th century has been marked by partial successes and frequent failures, and tainted with the negative legacies of eugenics, institutionalization, and the pathologization of those deemed to be at risk. Since the 1990s, however, new forces have helped turn preventive psychiatry into an attractive option to many, particularly as the global mental health movement has increasingly redefined psychiatric disorders as objects of primary care intervention and self-care. While much of the preventive rhetoric is couched in cheerful and aggressively optimistic terms, some experts worry that the mounting campaign for prevention itself is implanting and perpetuating fear and anxiety as well as cultivating fertile ground for overdiagnosis and overmedication. This paper traces the debates among dementia experts and investigates a grassroots movement by people with dementia many of whom promote neuropsychiatric screening while at the same time questioning what vision of prevention, if any at all, should be promoted and at what cost. As they search for alternative visions of a dementia-friendly society that can withstand the weight of a rapidly greying nation with an estimated seven million people with dementia, they also question how they can turn the gradual but steady spread of self-screening and surveillance into something that does not turn itself against those who are deemed at risk to society.

Bio
Junko Kitanaka is a professor of anthropology in the Department of Human Sciences at Keio University, Tokyo. She was born and educated in Japan before obtaining an MA at the University of Chicago and PhD at McGill University under Margaret Lock and Allan Young. She has been conducting research on psychiatry for 20 years, collaborating globally with anthropologists and psychiatrists. She has received a number of awards including the 2007 Dissertation Award from the American Anthropological Association’s Society for Medical Anthropology. Her dissertation has since been published by Princeton University Press as a 2012 book titled Depression in Japan: Psychiatric Cures for a Society in Distress, which won the American Anthropological Association’s Francis Hsu Prize for Best Book in East Asian Anthropology in 2013. The book has been translated into French by Dr. Pierre-Henri Castel and published as De la mort voluntaire au suicide au travail: Histoire et anthropologie de la depression au Japon (2014). She is currently working on a new project on health screening and preventive medicine in the workplace; psychotherapy and trauma care in the post-nuclear age; and the medicalization of the lifecycle with a focus on dementia. Her recent publications include The Rebirth of Secrets and the New Care of the Self in Depressed Japan. Current Anthropology 56(12): S251-S262, 2015; Depression as a Problem of Labor: Japanese Debates About Work, Stress, and a New Therapeutic Ethos, Sadness or Depression?: International Perspectives on the Depression Epidemic and Its Meaning, Jerome Wakefield & Steeves Demazeux eds. Springer, 2015.
Anne M. Lovell

Anne M. Lovell

INSERM Senior Research Scientist Emeritus at the Cermes3 (Research Center on Medicine, Sciences, Health, Mental Health and Society), NYU

Abstract
Animating the global psyche: metrics and crisis in Senegal

Metrics are a major means through which globalization is achieved. Global metrics like the Global Burden of Disease (GBD) have become integral to the global (mental) health enterprise, at the very least because through processes of equivalency they posit a “global psyche”. How might think the encounter between the ghost of “global psyche” made to appear as if real– animated or performed – in global mental health metrics and local worlds and forms of life (animae) those metrics supposedly index?

In this paper, I draw on on-going fieldwork in urban and peri-urban Senegal to interrogate both numbers and krise – the crises of networks, place, and persons induced by psychosis, possession and epilepsy – in a search for the “global psyche”. Mapping Senegal (and most of Sub-Saharan Africa) through metrics relies in great part on a double action: projecting so-called “reasonably similar” indicators from elsewhere onto those countries characterized by “poor numbers” (Jerven 2015) and filling in the blanks by scaling up (and hence transforming) the numbers themselves. Rather than assuming a priori the homogenizing and governing effects of metrics through scalar looping, I examine how (and if) “global psyche” touches down in Senegalese governmental, health and other institutions – and especially in the everyday worlds of krise.

Bio

Anne M. Lovell (PhD. Columbia University) is INSERM Senior Research Scientist Emeritus at the Cermes3 (Research Center on Medicine, Sciences, Health, Mental Health and Society) and a member of the Doctoral School at the Ecole des Hautes Etudes en Sciences Sociales (EHESS).  She has taught and conducted research in France, the United States, Argentina, Italy and Senegal. A social anthropologist, she works at the intersection of medical anthropology and anthropology of science. Her research concerns itself with how illness, health and notions of the “mental” are shaped within a nexus of material culture, kinship, and economies, and how psychiatry and related disciplines come to “know”.

Kenneth MacLeish

Kenneth MacLeish

Assistant Professor of Medicine, Health, and Society, Vanderbilt University

Abstract
The Psyche of Counterinsurgency

Psychiatric care and diagnosis are an enduring and fundamental aspect of modern warfare, simultaneously addressing the embodied and psychic experience of the war-affected, enabling the biopolitical management of military subjects, and furnishing moral narratives that give meaning to (and obscure or elide elements of) the routinized work of doing and being exposed to violence in war—for its (potentially afflicted) participants and for broader institutional and public constituencies. And as scholars from Fanon to Fassin to Butler to Asad have suggested, idioms of madness are central to contemporary liberal forms of violence, affirming the evil and unreason of enemies and the victimhood of participants who are also perpetrators. Posttraumatic stress disorder diagnosis has from its invention been enmeshed in such assumptions, and recent interest in so-called moral injury—a PTSD-like form of distress said to originate from shame, guilt, or transgression—continues to help shape a kind of moral economy in which particular enemy tactics and modes of war-making are driven by and give rise to particular forms of madness, reflecting highly specific notions of victim status, responsibility, and moral and political framing. This paper draws on American soldiers’ firsthand accounts of counterinsurgency violence and its psychic and affective entailments as a kind of critique of the individualizing and moralizing tendencies of hegemonic conceptions of war-related psychic harm. This paper examines the contrasting modes of agentive personhood produced by tactical practices on the one hand and therapeutic intervention on the other and asks how each is reflective of particular structural dimensions of morality and mental illness in contemporary warfare.

Joseph P. Masco

Joseph P. Masco

Professor of Anthropology and of the Social Sciences in the College, University of Chicago

Abstract
Living in the Psychozoic: On Planetary Stress

This paper takes up Peter Sloterdijk’s provocative claims that globalization has changed not just financial worlds and industrial production but also psyches, emotions, and nervous systems. He has argued that “Excitability is now the foremost duty of all citizens. This is why we no longer need military service. What is required is the general theme of duty, that is to say, a readiness to play your role as a conductor of excitation for collective, opportunistic psychoses.” I take up this question of excitability via a review of new forms of collective stress (from war, to financial precarity, to climate change) in order to consider the emerging human “nervous system” of the early 21st century. At stake are how globalization and linked industrial changes to the biosphere are generating new forms of physical and psychic precarity that are both collective and asymmetrically distributed, creating new forms of planetary stress. Along the way, I revive consideration of Joseph LeConte’s now forgotten 19th century proposal to establish a new geological period called the “Psychozoic” to acknowledge the “mind of man” as transformative to the surface of the earth. I suggest we are now living in a psychozoic age, where the “psycho” is material in new ways.

Bio

Joseph Masco is Professor of Anthropology and of the Social Sciences in the College writes and teaches courses on science and technology, U.S. national security culture, political ecology, mass media, and critical theory. He is the author of The Nuclear Borderlands: The Manhattan Project in Post-Cold War New Mexico (Princeton University Press, 2006), which won the 2008 Rachel Carson Prize from the Society for the Social Studies of Science and the 2006 Robert K. Merton Prize from the Section on Science, Knowledge and Technology of the American Sociology Association. His work as been supported by the American Council of Learned Societies, The John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation, The Wenner-Gren Foundation and the National Endowment for the Humanities. His current work examines the evolution of the national security state in the United States, with a particular focus on the interplay between affect, technology, and threat perception within a national public sphere.

Gabriel Mendes

Gabriel Mendes

Senior Lecturer, Medicine, Health, and Society, Vanderbilt University

Discussant only

Jonathan M. Metzl

Jonathan M. Metzl

Frederick B. Rentschler II Professor of Sociology and Medicine, Health, and Society; Director of Center for Medicine, Health, and Society; Professor of Psychiatry, Vanderbilt University

Todd Meyers

Todd Meyers

Associate Professor of Anthropology, Global Network Professor, NYU Shanghai, NYU

Abstract
Other Rooms: Coming apart at home and psychiatric intervention in the lesser milieus of global mental health

The following paper is a reflection on an event, a moment of coming apart in the household of a woman whom I followed in Baltimore since 2002. The focus of this work was on the shape of relationships in a household where multiple medical and non-medical concerns overtaxed resources (financial, emotional) and wore the fabric of the family thin in ways that were unpredictable but nevertheless unrelenting. The particular episode concerns a sudden and unexpected withdrawal from psychiatric drugs and its aftermath. The paper considers how the individual is folded into (or reconciled against) larger scale discussions/expectations of psychiatric treatment and recovery in situations of severe economic, political, and social insecurity, and in particular, how this term “global mental health” gains or loses traction in such contests of scale. The paper also reflects upon the locus of retelling, or more precisely, how milieu is so often overwritten by bodily experience/expression in the retelling of moments when the psyche unravels.

Bio
Todd Meyers is Associate Professor of Anthropology and Director of the Center for Society, Health, and Medicine at New York University–Shanghai. He is the author of The Clinic and Elsewhere: Addiction, Adolescents, and the Afterlife of Therapy (University of Washington Press, 2013) and the co-editor of the Forms of Living book series at Fordham University Press.
Francisco Ortega

Francisco Ortega

Associate Professor, Institute for Social Medicine of the State University of Rio de Janeiro; Director of Research, Rio Center for Global Health; Visiting Senior Research Fellow, Department of Social Science, Health and Medicine, Kings College London

Abstract
Challenges for implementing a global mental health agenda in Brazil: The ‘silencing’ of culture

Since its emergence in 2007, Global Mental Health has been a growing and polemic area of study, research and practice in mental health worldwide. Despite having a significant endogenous academic production and innovative policy experiences, the Brazilian mental health field and its actors make few references to, and scarcely dialogue with, the Global Mental Health agenda. This presentation explores an aspect of this divergence between Global Mental Health initiatives and public mental health care in Brazil regarding the role of culture within mental health policies and practices. My hypothesis is that part of this difficulty can be attributed to the low relevance of the cultural dimension for the Brazilian mental health field, here referred as the ‘silencing of culture’. I examine the possible historical roots of this process, analyzing the theories about ‘cannibalism’ and ‘cultural uniformity’ of Brazilian cultural matrices. In addition, I describe two recent experiences in public mental health care that incorporate cultural competence: the work of the community health agents and community therapy. The development of cultural competence can be decisive in enabling an expansion of the dialogue between research and practice in Brazilian mental health and Global mental health initiatives.

Bio

Francisco Ortega is Associate Professor at the Institute for Social Medicine of the State University of Rio de Janeiro and Research director of the Rio Center for Global Health at the State University of Rio de Janeiro. He is also Visiting Senior Research Fellow at the Department of Global Health and Social Medicine of King’s College, London. He was invited professor at the Institute of Social Sciences, University of Buenos Aires, at the Max Planck Institute for the History of Science of Berlin, at the Institute of Political Science, Oldenburg University  and at the University of Bielefeld. His research examines the many emerging ‘neuro-disciplines’ such as neuroethics, cultural neuroscience, neuroaesthetics, and the cerebralization of autism and other psychiatric disorders. In addition, he has undertaken qualitative research on the mechanisms of social and personal identity formation in individuals diagnosed with autism and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) in Brazil and on the challenges for implementing global mental health policies in Brazil. His many books include (With Fernando Vidal) Being Brains. Making the Cerebral Subject. New York: Fordham University Press, 2017; Corporeality, Medical Technologies and Contemporary Culture. London: Routledge, 2014; (With Fernando Vidal) Neurocultures. Glimpses into an expanding universe. Frankfurt and New York: Peter Lang, 2011.

Eugene Raikhel

Eugene Raikhel

Department of Comparative Human Development, University of Chicago

Abstract
Pathological desire: Debating addiction and evidence in Putin’s Russia

This paper traces a debate, which has taken place over the past five years among specialists in addiction medicine in Russia, concerning the classification, etiology, and ontological status of drug and alcohol addiction. On one side stands a group of influential researchers who have promoted a highly medicalized idea of addiction as psychopathology, namely a “psychosis-like” condition, the chief sign of which is “pathological desire” or craving, and which warrants interventions analogous to those used for severe mental illness. On the other are physicians who speak in the name of “global science” and seek to promote evidence-based interventions (including harm-reduction measures and psychosocial therapies), many of whom regard addiction to be a maladaptive form of behavior. In this presentation, I interpret this debate as shaped both by the cultural politics of drugs in contemporary Russia and by the politics of medical expertise around addiction. I suggest that this debate not only tells us something about epistemology and authority in Russian medicine, but also provides a window onto broader debates about science and medicine as potentially “local” or “global”.

Bio

I am a cultural and medical anthropologist with interests encompassing the anthropology of science, biomedicine and psychiatry; addiction and its treatment; suggestion and healing; and post-socialist transformations in Eurasia. I am particularly concerned with the circulation of new forms of knowledge and clinical intervention produced by biomedicine, neuroscience and psychiatry. My work follows therapeutic technologies as they move both from “bench to bedside” and from one cultural or institutional setting to another, examining how they intersect with the lives of practitioners and patients.

Tobias Rees

Tobias Rees

Associate Professor of Social Studies of Medicine in the Faculty of Medicine, McGill University

Abstract
An Essay on Human Nature—or How We Became Human: An Homage to Allan Young

Today, we may take it for granted that there is something like the human, that is, something which all humans have in common, something that defines their distinction as a group. However, this taken for grantedness is of recent datum. The first time the question concerning the human was articulated –– the evidence primaire –– was only in the 1630s. And it took another century till David Hume, in his 1738 Treatise on Human Nature, could formulate the human as a simultaneously philosophical question and as an empirical-experimental challenge.

In a way, then, the human did not exist before the 17th century (nor did the concept of humanity, a product of the late eighteenth century).

In this talk, I literally trace how we became –– human. I follow the major conceptual steps in the history of the human. As an end in itself but also in order (1) to prepare the possibility of an anthropology after the human; (2) wonder if –– and if then how –– one could reinsert anthropology into a philosophical horizon (rather than consider it as an empirical domain only); and (3) to bring into focus –– to celebrate –– the work of Allan Young as a prime example of the possibility of practicing anthropology-as-empirical-philosophy.

Bio

Tobias Rees is Associate Professor of Social Studies of Medicine in the Faculty of Medicine at McGill University and a Fellow of the Canadian Institute of Advanced Research (CIFAR). His expertise lies at the intersection of anthropology, art history, the history of science, and the philosophy of modernity and concerns the study of knowledge/thought. More specifically, he is interested in how categories that order knowledge mutate over time –– because of humans, microbes, snails, the weather, or other events –– and in what effects these mutations have on conceptions of the human/the real. The main areas of Professor Rees’ research have been emergent phenomena in the life sciences and in medicine, with a specific focus on neurobiology, global health, the microbiome, and immunology.

Miriam Ticktin

Miriam Ticktin

Associate Professor of Anthropology and Co-Director of Zolberg Institute for Migration and Mobility, The New School

Abstract
The Changing Subjects of Humanitarianism: from Border Walls to Anonymous Collectives

This paper will explore the changing psyches and subjects brought into being by or alongside humanitarianism, focusing on new political technologies. First, I will look at border crossings and in particular, border wall technologies; second, I will look at media technologies that work to constitute a different kind of humanity, countering humanitarian logics.

Bio
Miriam Ticktin is Associate Professor and Chair of Anthropology at the New School for Social Research in New York City. Her work explores the category of humanity, and the politics of who and what it includes and excludes. She is the author of Casualties of Care: Immigration and the Politics of Immigration and Humanitarianism in France (UC Press, 2011), co-editor of In the Name of Humanity: the Government of Threat and Care (with Ilana Feldman, Duke UP 2010), and a founding co-editor of the journal Humanity: An International Journal of Human Rights, Humanitarianism and Development. She is currently at work on two related book projects: 1) a short book on innocence as a political concept, and how it produces an unending search for purity; 2) a book on practices of containment at the border, from border walls to spaces of quarantine, and how these are shaped by encounters between humans and non-humans, from wildlife to viruses.
Zoë Wool

Zoë Wool

Assistant Professor, Department of Anthropology, Rice University

Abstract
Homunculus Revolts

This paper is an experiment in bringing together a set of iterations, appearances, instantiations, and inhabitations of the homunculus across ethnographic, autoethnographic, and discursive scenes. Critical treatments of the homunculus in his modern biomedical guises suggest that he sometimes manifests, and sometimes confounds, the impulse within dominant biosciences to distinguish and peel apart psyche and soma, a contradiction we might characterize as the fundamental psychosomatic drama of modern (and ‘post-modern’) medical science. In considering the homunculus as an illuminating character of this drama, I hope to suggest that we read this drama not only for it’s gendering force (as histories of hysteria have done) but for the ways it simultaneously stages race, class, and disability as psychosomatic conditions. In doing this, I aim to more fully incorporate a critique of arrangements of worthy and unworthy forms of human life into STS-informed readings of the psychosomatic.

Bio

As a medical anthropologist, I am fundamentally interested in questions of personhood and the body at times when the body—both its fleshy contours and its social entailments—becomes unsteady. These interests are rooted in my ethnographic fieldwork with grievously injured American soldiers and their family members. They extend to broader questions about the social, cultural, ethical, intimate, carnal, and clinical situations within which such special categories of life, death, and personhood accrue value or are debrided of it in late liberal democracies. In addition to anthropology, in my work I draw on queer and critical theory, critical disability studies, and studies of public culture to address questions of debility and intimacy; personhood and the body; war, trauma, and modern medicine; and the fleshy contours of worthy life in the contemporary United States.

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