Current Institutional Affiliation
Associate Professor, Anthropology, Johns Hopkins University

Award Information

International Dissertation Research Fellowship 2003
Institutional Affiliation (at time of award):
Anthropology, Harvard University
Justice, Acknowledgement, and Neoliberalism: An Ethnography of Affects and Mental Illness in Post-Authoritarian Chile

In this anthropological research, I will explore the Chilean state's attempts to acknowledge unresolved issues of political justice through a language of mental health. This research will take place in La Pincoya, a historically leftist poblacion of Santiago, Chile; in local and tertiary medical institutions; and in government institutions such as the Ministry of Health. In these locations, I will examine how a bio-medical framing of justice is limited by the everyday experiences of those who live within zones of economic exclusion. One such experience is the local economy of debt that creates monetary and affective obligations between family members, neighbors, and local creditors. Within this neo-liberal context, I ask how such affects (i.e. depression, anxiety, and longing), emerging from the gap between the ability and desires to live well, constitute different understandings of justice and acknowledgement. I will explore how these affects themselves provide a critique of both traditional juridical conceptions of justice as well as novel bio-medical forms of justice.