Aidan Seale-Feldman

Bioethics Postdoctoral Research Associate & Lecturer

Brooks Hall, 307


I am a sociocultural and medical anthropologist working in Nepal. My research explores global mental health interventions with a focus on rethinking conceptualizations of affliction and care. Based on two years of fieldwork (2014-2016) my dissertation, The Work of Disaster: Events of Affliction, Care, and Intervention in Nepal, is an ethnographic examination of the phenomenology of disaster and the transformation of chronic suffering into objects of emergency intervention following the 2015 Nepal earthquakes. In connection with my interest in global mental health, I have also conducted research on the problem of adolescent “mass hysteria” in and the movement of embodied affliction between women in Nepal.


I received my PhD in anthropology from the University of California, Los Angeles (2018); my MA in anthropology from the University of California, Los Angeles (2012); and my BA in liberal arts from Sarah Lawrence College (2009). In 2017 I was a visiting doctoral scholar at the Center for Research in Medicine, Science, Health, Mental Health, and Society (CERMES3) in Paris, France.


My research has been supported with funding from the Wenner-Gren Foundation, the U.S. Department of Education, the UCLA International Institute, the UCLA Center for the Study of Women, and the FPR-UCLA Program for the Study of Culture, Brain, Development and Mental Health.


Medical and psychological anthropology; sociocultural anthropology; global mental health; humanitarianism and disaster; care and ethics; theories of event; critical phenomenology; mass hysteria and conversion disorder; Nepal and the Himalaya.

Selected Publications

2018. “Images.” Correspondences, Cultural Anthropology website, March 2, 2018.


2017. “Jackson, Michael and Albert Piette (eds.) 2015. What is Existential Anthropology?
Berghahn Books. 248 pp. Hb.:$95.00, ISBN: 9781782386360.” Social
Anthropology/Anthropologie Sociale.


2015. "Mental Health after the Earthquake: Building Nepal’s Mental Health System in Times of
Emergency." Fieldsights - Hot Spots, Cultural Anthropology website, October 14, 2015.
mental-health-system-in-times-ofemergency (co-authored with Nawaraj Upadhaya).

Faculty and Staff

Rebecca Stangl

Associate Professor, Department of Philosophy

Jarrett Zigon

Director of the Bioethics Program, William & Linda Porterfield Chair in Biomedical Ethics and Professor of Anthropology

James F. Childress

University Professor & John Allen Hollingsworth Prof, Ethic, Department of Religious Studies

Nichole Flores

Assistant Professor, Department of Religious Studies

Margaret E. Mohrmann

Professor, Department of Pediatrics

China Scherz

Assistant Professor, Department of Anthropology

Aidan Seale-Feldman

Bioethics Postdoctoral Research Associate & Lecturer

Sylvia Tidey

Assistant Professor, Department of Anthropology and Global Studies