Bridget Hansen

Education

  • BA, Anthropology, University of Illinois at Chicago
  • BA, Classical Studies, University of Illinois at Chicago

Research

• Anthropology of Globalization
• Psychological Anthropology
• Global Mental Health
• Science and Technology Studies
• Anthropology of the Middle East

I am a medical, psychological anthropologist interested in subjectivity, knowledge production, and globalization,  as well as psychiatry, mental health, and mental health treatments, as it unfolds in the Arabian Gulf. My dissertation research looks at how psychiatric knowledge is being culturally translated, rather than imported or “transplanted,” in the Sultanate of Oman, a country undergoing massive sociocultural and infrastructural change since a coup in 1970. In particular, I look at the national psychiatry residency program, created in 2006 to train junior Omani doctors for lifelong careers in Oman. My dissertation asks: How are Omani psychiatric residents transformed into scientific, global doctors in a space of multiple medical and cultural discourses? How does the psychiatric encounter simultaneously shape and influence patients’ understandings? And how are these medical encounters creating possibilities for transformations in understandings of healing, health, illness, society, and self—both for the patient and clinician?  My research explores the idea that the residency program is not simply transplanting Euro-American psychiatry into Oman and “erasing” cultural explanations of madness, but that it is providing culturally-contextualized translations to make a uniquely Omani psychiatry.