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This collection features scholarly research by Julia Cassaniti, assistant professor in the Department of Anthropology at Washington State University. Cassaniti's research interests include psychological anthropology, medical anthropology, cognitive psychology, Theravāda Buddhism, mental health, religion and ritual, gender/sexuality, perceptions of time and change, affect, agency, contemporary social issues in Thailand, Southeast Asia. She is a psychological and medical anthropologist working on religious experience, culture, and cognition in Southeast Asia. With a focus on Buddhism, her research is about ways that religious ideas are interwoven into the psychology of everyday life in contemporary Thailand. This interest ties into a broader curiosity about the role of culture (that is, shared historical imaginings, ideologies and behaviors) in mental practices and processes. To that end she has been conducting ethnographic research for the past ten years in a small Northern Thai community, focusing on a range of phenomena that speak to local connections between ontology and psychology, and their implications in the wider world of health and well-being.

Recent Submissions

  • The Cultural Kindling of Spiritual Experiences 

    Cassaniti, Julia; Luhrmann, Tanya Marie (Current Anthropology, 2014-12)
    In this paper we suggest that it is important for the anthropology of Christianity and the anthropology of religion more generally to develop a comparative phenomenology of spiritual experience. Our method is to distinguish ...