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Chikako Ozawa-de SilvaDirector of Graduate Studies and Professor


PhD, University of Oxford, 2001



  • Psychological and Medical anthropology
  • Mental well-being
  • Anthropology of Subjectivity and Selfhood
  • Critical empathy
  • Contemplative practices
  • Therapies and healing practices
  • Mind-body
  • Loneliness, Intimacy and Suicide
  • Buddhism, Tibetan medicine
  • Japan


Dr. Ozawa-de Silva, D.Phil., is a Professor of Anthropology at Emory University. She came to Emory after serving as a Visiting Research Fellow at Harvard University’s Department of Social Medicine and as a Post-Doctoral Fellow at the University of Chicago. She is a NEH (National Endowment for the Humanities) grant recipient and a Mind and Life Contemplative Studies Fellowship (The John Templeton Foundation) recipient.

Her academic vision is to contribute to cross-cultural understandings of health, illness and well-being by bringing Western and Asian perspectives on the mind-body, religion, medicine, and therapy into fruitful dialogue. Her publications include two monographs, The Anatomy of Loneliness:Suicide, Social Connection and the Search for Relational Meaning in Contemporary Japan (University of California Press, 2021), that was awarded for the Victor Turner Prize & the Francis L.K. Hsu Prize (2022), and Psychotherapy and Religion in Japan: The Japanese Introspection Practice of Naikan (Routledge, 2006), as well as a co-edited special issue “Toward an Anthropology of Loneliness” in Transcultural Psychiatry (57:5, 2020, co-edited with Michelle Parsons), and over twenty peer-reviewed articles and book chapters on psychotherapeutic practice, suicide, the mind-body relationship and Tibetan medicine.

For the past ten years her research has focused on loneliness, empathy, meaning-making, subjectivity and resilience, particularly among populations at risk for suicide, in situations of domestic violence, and in prison, in both Japan and the US. Hew new project is on marriage and intimacy in Japan, exploring how the “commodification of intimacy” is connected to loneliness.

A Vaccine for the Loneliness Epidemic (2023)

Emory Report: Chikako Ozawa-de Silva, The Anatomy of Loneliness.


Psychotherapy and Religion in Japan: The Japanese Introspection Practice of Naikan (2006) 

Publication 1  

The Anatomy of Loneliness (2021)

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