Faculty of Social & Historical Sciences


Dr Joseph Calabrese

Academic position: Reader of Medical Anthropology

Department: Anthropology

Email: j.calabrese@ucl.ac.uk

Website: Dr Joseph Calabrese


Joseph Calabrese is Reader of Medical Anthropology at UCL.  A medical and psychological anthropologist and UK-registered clinical psychologist, he holds a PhD from the University of Chicago’s interdisciplinary Committee on Human Development, where he combined study of anthropology and developmental/clinical psychology.  He completed postdoctoral clinical training at the Cambridge Hospital/Harvard Medical School, subsequently holding research fellowships at the Department of Social Medicine, Harvard Medical School and at Green Templeton College, Oxford.  His ethnographic research explores diverse approaches to understanding personhood, social change, mental illness and intervention, with fieldwork in Bhutan, among Native Americans, and with people having severe psychiatric illnesses in Chicago and Boston.  His anthropological monograph, A Different Medicine: Postcolonial Healing in the Native American Church (2013, OUP), explores a ritual-based postcolonial healing movement and its incorporation into clinical programmes serving Native Americans.  He is currently studying mental illness and psychiatric care in the Kingdom of Bhutan.

Research Projects:

  • Wellbeing and social change in Bhutan, supported by a UCL Grand Challenges/Global Engagement grant.
  • The process of intercultural therapy with the Nafsiyat Intercultural Therapy Centre in London (serving on the board of trustees).


  • Tutor for the MSc Medical Anthropology
  • Convenes modules on Medical Anthropology, Psychological Anthropology, Clinical Ethnography and Ritual Healing/Therapeutic Emplotment.
  • Contribute to teaching for the Biosocial Medical Anthropology programme.