- How does culture influence the experience of illness, the practice of medicine and the process of healing for the individual or community?
- What can we learn from non-Western medical experience and/or plural ‘mixed’ medical systems?
- How do cultural attitudes shape biomedical research and practice and how should societies respond to transnational advances in technologies such as genetics or stem cell research?
- How do financial considerations inform global health care practices and priorities?
- How does the experience and perception of the body, self or notion of the individual or person influence illness and identity?
Medical Anthropology at UCL provides an opportunity to explore these and many other emerging and urgent issues concerning how health and well-being is socially and culturally constituted in comparative and transnational contexts. It offers an innovative teaching, learning and research environment and one of the most comprehensive and exciting programmes of graduate and undergraduate study in the UK including an MSc in Medical Anthropology and an IBSc in Medical Anthropology
Staff working at UCL are uniquely committed to actively developing Medical Anthropology at the intersections with clinical practice, primary care, public health, science and technology and cross cultural psychiatry.
Current research related to Medical Anthropology in the department draws from a broad field of expertise that foregrounds social, cultural and biological perspectives and includes:
Core Members of Medical Anthropology
- Healing Rituals and Psychiatric Care among the Navajos and in Bhutan; Patients' Experiences of Treatment and the Culture of Medicine in the US and UK (Calabrese)
- The anthropology of ethics and mindfulness-based therapy in the UK & Thailand (Cook)
- Genomic Knowledge/Technologies, Biosocialities and Cancer in, UK, Cuba and Brazil (Gibbon)
- Psychiatry and Medicine in Caribbean, Albania and Britain (Littlewood)
- Science and Medicine of Immunology and Personhood in South East Asia (Napier)
Related Members of the Department
- Language, health and human rights in Kurdish communities (Pillen)
- Health Behaviour, Migration and Reproductive Decision Making in Rural Africa (Randall)
- Shamanism and biosocial exchange in east Asia (Empson)
- Cuban Divination and Illness (Holbraad)
- Religion, Psychological Anthropology and Dreaming (Stewart)
- Landscapes of risk and cultural transformation (Abramson)
Applied and cross or interdisciplinary research is at the heart of the Medical Anthropology at UCL. Through innovative applied teaching and learning practice, we actively promote dialogue between anthropology, clinical practice, scientific knowledge, primary and public health in different national and global arenas generating collaborations and affiliations with other departments and institutions
We have a weekly public Medical Anthropology Research Seminar with speakers invited from across the world to present and discuss their work. There are also a number of active research and reading groups in the department with current interest in topics such as ‘Cosmology, Ontology, Religion and Culture’, and ‘Biosocialities, Health and Citizenship’ which offer students and staff an informal and productive learning environment for generating new ideas and developing critical engaged thinking.
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