AMHIG Travel Award Announcement

AMHIG Congratulates Ms. Emma Backe on receiving the first annual AMHIG Student Travel Award. Emma will be presenting her paper, “The ART of Survival: Psychosocial Care in South Africa’s Feminized Syndemics” at the AAA/CASCA meetings in Vancouver.

Emma Louise Backe is a PhD student in Anthropology at The George Washington University (GW). Her research focuses on the politics of crisis around gender-based violence (GBV) in South Africa, specifically the temporalities of care provided to survivors of intimate partner violence and the processes of psychosocial recovery survivors in Cape Town must navigate. In addition to her research, Emma also serves as a Peer Advocate in GW’s Anthropology Department to promote open dialogues about safety planning in the field, the emotional labor associated with ethnography, and cultivating consensual learning spaces. Emma is also a member of the Editorial Board of Feminist Anthropology; an Advisory Board member of Sapiens; and the Managing Editor of The Geek Anthropologist.


Anthropology and Mental Health Interest Group Student Travel Award

The Anthropology and Mental Health Interest Group (AMHIG) announces its first annual student travel award. The awardee will receive $200 and a certificate presented during the AMHIG business meeting at the American Anthropological Association annual meeting in Vancouver, BC.

To qualify, applicants must be:

a) enrolled as a student during the Fall 2019 semester;

b) a member of the Society for Medical Anthropology, and;

c) presenting a mental health-related paper, poster, or video at the AAA as the first author.

To apply, please submit your paper or poster abstract, evidence that the abstract has been accepted by AAA, and a brief statement (maximum 1 page double spaced) describing how attending the AAA meeting will advance your professional career.

Please send your application materials to Beatriz Reyes-Foster at The submission deadline is September 15, 2019.

Call for Papers: Trauma and Resilience in Ethnographic Fieldwork

Trauma and Resilience in Ethnography:

A Curated Blog Series

Beatriz Reyes-Foster and Rebecca J. Lester, curators

Sponsored by

The Anthropology of Mental Health Interest Group (AMHIG)



The Anthropology of Mental Health Interest Group (AMHIG) is seeking contributions for “Trauma and Resilience in Ethnographic Field Work,” a blog post series curated by Beatriz Reyes-Foster and Rebecca Lester to be published in Anthrodendum. We seek contributions from experienced ethnographers of all career stages and geographic specializations. Blog posts are approximately 1,000-1,500 words and written for a broad but informed audience. The posts are meant to provide authors with a platform from which to share their stories of emotional struggle or trauma in the field, but also to highlight the ways in which these struggles were met or overcome. This goal of this series is to highlight the reality of trauma and emotional stress in ethnographic fieldwork, as well as provide faculty and students with resources on best practices for emotional care prior, during, and after field work. This initial attempt to bring attention to the issue of mental distress in ethnographic field work seeks to include the experiences of traditionally under-represented people in anthropology, particularly people of color. We encourage contributions that engage with questions of social inequality, intersectionality, discrimination, misogyny, and racial, class, gender and other identities that impact ethnographic experiences abroad. All chosen contributors will be invited to expand their pieces into chapters for a future edited collection.


The Anthrodendum series abstract is below:


The proposed series of posts acknowledges the reality that ethnographic fieldwork can be, and frequently is, emotionally difficult for fieldworkers, who may experience either direct or vicarious/secondary trauma while in the field. Even under the best of circumstances, navigating a new field setting with little if any training on how to emotionally manage the many challenges inherent in fieldwork can be significantly challenging, and the effects of such experiences can be long lasting. Posts in this series will feature stories of both trauma and resilience (broadly conceptualized) from contributors writing across a wide variety of topical and regional specialties and representing a range of career stages. While giving a platform for contributors to share their stories, the purpose of the series is to highlight strategies and tactics that support resiliency: how did contributors deal with their experiences of trauma? What worked and what didn’t? What sorts of social and institutional supports did they use? The series will also contain information and resources for faculty advisors preparing to send students into potentially traumatizing situations.


Please send a 250-300 word abstract to Beatriz Reyes-Foster ( and Rebecca Lester ( by February 28, 2019.



AMHIG Business Meeting Minutes

Sorry for the delay in posting this.

Meeting Minutes: Anthropology and Mental Health Interest Group

Minneapolis, MN, 11/17/16


1)      AMHIG Conference- A few years ago we put on a very successful 1 day conference at American University prior to the AAA Meetings. Participants discussed whether we would like to do this again in 2017. We reported that this year, another SIG had carried out a half-day conference by piggy-backing on the existing conference rather than running a stand-alone meeting, as we had done. We discussed the fact that this approach would entail far less work than the one we used. We are currently in contact with the Society for Medical Anthropology to put this initiative into place. If we get the green light, the meeting will likely take place on November 28, 2017 in Washington, DC.

2)      Policy statement- The SMA encourages it SIGs to develop policy papers on issues of significant concern through its Take a Stand initiative. A number of interesting mental health issues were raised that would lend themselves to this type of initiative. However, given that the incoming Trump Administration’s specific policies regarding mental health and well-being were unknown, it was decided to table this initiative to our next meeting.

3)      Paper prize- We reported on our first paper prize competition. The winners were Whitney Duncan (University of Northern Colorado) in the Professional category and Philippa Fielding (University of Sussex) for the Student category. We will be submitting an RFP for 2017’s paper prize in the Spring.

Note: For those who can attend, we will hold a business meeting at the Society for Applied Anthropology Meeting in Santa Fe, NM.

Call for Presentations: “Enriching Qualitative Inquiry in Health” at University College of London

We invite abstracts for the UCL Qualitative Health Research Symposium 2015 “Enriching Qualitative Inquiry in Health” which will take place on Wednesday, 18th February, 2015.

The deadline for abstracts is Monday, 1st December, 2014.

“Enriching Qualitative Inquiry in Health”

UCL Qualitative Health Research Symposium 2015: Call for abstracts Interest is growing in qualitative approaches to health research. This is a welcome endorsement of its contributions. However, there may be tensions between the philosophies and practices of qualitative approaches, and those of a prevailing, quantitatively-oriented health research culture. Some projects navigate the terrain well, while others leave qualitative researchers discouraged around the pursuits of applicability, value, and relevance.

Qualitative research groups at UCL’s Department of Applied Health Research, the Health Behaviour Research Centre (Department of Epidemiology and Public Health) and the Division of Psychiatry hold regular meetings to grapple with these issues. Building on the success of a jointly hosted 2013 symposium, we are organising a second symposium to:

(1) Examine work that recognises the value of qualitative perspectives, approaches, and methods for the study of health, illness, and care

(2) Foster critical thinking around the limitations, obstacles, and challenges in fulfilling its potential

(3) Work towards conceptualising an enriched landscape for qualitative research on health, illness, and care.


While not limited to the following topics, we are particularly interested in reflections on:

*         Ways that researchers navigate, consider, and apply qualitative approaches

*         Insights qualitative approaches have brought to research on health, illness, and care

*         Challenges advancing qualitative perspectives within academia, and between academic and   non-academic settings

*         Enriching qualitative contributions by drawing on new concepts and methods

*         Expanding the contributions of qualitative approaches to healthcare policy and practice

We invite abstract submissions from any discipline. Submissions should include an abstract (maximum 350 words), affiliation, and full contact information. The deadline is Monday 1 December, 2014. Please submit abstracts to Ms Yana Kitova at and include “Qualitative symposium 2015 abstract submission” in the subject header. Submissions will be considered for oral and poster presentations. For more information on the conference or questions about submitting an abstract, please contact Dr Lesley McGregor, at or Mr Henry Llewellyn at

Exact time, location, and registration opportunities to be circulated in December.