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Subjectivity, Embodiment, and Personhood


In recent years, anthropologists have become increasingly interested in exploring agency, embodiment, and the internal subjective experience of individuals and communities in addition to, and in relation to, the social, political and economic structures they inhabit and co-constitute.

This anthropological work attends to how lives and modes of selfhood and embodiment are impacted by and resist such structures through methods such as experience-near ethnography, which focuses on small numbers of interlocutors to understand their subjective experience and to establish a bond between ethnographer and research participants, as well as experimental methods such as collaboration, co-creation, and multi-sensory research.

Common themes of this work, and areas where department faculty have conducted research, include experiences of suffering and healing, identity and selfhood, political and moral personhood, disability, cross-cultural and global mental health, altered consciousness, religious and contemplative practice, theater and performance, and the ethics of representation.

Sa'ed Atshan Headshot
Sa'ed Atshan
Associate Professor
Anthropology 218A
Bayo Holsey Headshot
Bayo Holsey
Associate Professor
Anthropology 211
Justin Hosbey Headshot
Justin Hosbey
Assistant Professor
218B Anthropology
Bruce Knauft Headshot
Bruce Knauft
Samuel Candler Dobbs Professor
213 Anthropology
Robert A. Paul Headshot
Robert A. Paul
Charles Howard Candler Professor of Anthropology and Interdisciplinary Studies
208 Anthropology
Michael G. Peletz Headshot
Michael G. Peletz
Samuel Candler Dobbs Professor
220 Anthropology
Debra Spitulnik Vidali Headshot
Debra Spitulnik Vidali
Director of Undergraduate Research and Associate Professor
209 Anthropology