Maddalena Canna

Assistant Professor of Sociocultural Anthropology
PhD: School of Advanced Studies in the Social Sciences (EHESS) - Paris, France
research interests:
  • global health, anthropology of consciousness, embodiment, gender and sexuality, medical anthropology, diversity in the DSM, Afro-Latin studies, transcultural psychiatry, ethnographic theory, theory of interdisciplinarity, graphic and non-verbal methods for the social sciences
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    contact info:

    mailing address:

    • Washington University
    • CB 1114
    • One Brookings Drive
    • St. Louis, MO 63130-4899
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    Assistant Professor Maddalena Canna (she/hers) is a sociocultural anthropologist specializing in global mental health, transcultural psychiatry, and the social studies of medicine. Her work explores the interplay between embodiment and consciousness, also called the “mind-body connection” across cultures. She has been conducting research in Afro-Indigenous societies (Nicaragua and Central America), in the US/Canada, and at a global scale.

    Current projects:
    - An ethnographic study of trance and possession among the Afro-Indigenous Miskitu of Nicaragua and Honduras
    - A pragmatic inquiry on the DSM medicalization of non-ordinary states of consciousness and the global movements for their depathologization
    - A longitudinal mixed-method project on the lived experience of people with Functional Neurological Disorder (FND) in the US and in Canada
    - A meta-disciplinary assessment of the epistemic and societal frictions between social and medical sciences

    Languages:  English, French, Italian, Spanish

    Selected Publications:
    Canna, Maddalena. "Visceral Visions: Rethinking Embodiment and Desire in Global Mental Health." Culture, Medicine and Psychiatry 47.1 (2023): 132-51.
    Canna, Maddalena, and Rebecca Seligman. "Dealing with the Unknown. Functional Neurological Disorder (FND) and the Conversion of Cultural Meaning." Social Science & Medicine (1982) 246 (2020): 112725. Web.