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Brooks Hall, 307




Aidan Seale-Feldman is a medical and psychological anthropologist specializing in the study of mental health, disaster, and the ethics of care. Her work brings together medical and psychological anthropology, critical phenomenology, disaster studies, and the anthropology of ethics and morality. Based on two years of ethnographic fieldwork in Nepal before and after the 2015 earthquakes, her research focuses on the psychic life of disaster– the biopolitics of mental health governance, the existential dimensions of disaster, and the forms of care that emerge in disaster’s wake. In Nepal, she has also conducted research on gender, “mass hysteria,” and the movement of affliction across bodies, worlds, and generations. For the past two years she has served as co-editor of Screening Room, an experimental ethnographic film series hosted on the Society for Cultural Anthropology’s Visual and New Media Review. Her work has been published in Cultural Anthropology, Ethos, and HIMALAYA: The Journal of the Association for Nepal and Himalayan Studies, as well as in digital publications such as Somatosphere and The Record Nepal. She was recently awarded an Engaged Anthropology Grant from the Wenner-Gren Foundation (2019) to share her research in Nepal and create a collaborative ethnographic film on friendship. She received her MA and PhD in Anthropology from the University of California, Los Angeles.

At UVA Dr. Seale-Feldman teaches cross-listed courses in Bioethics and Anthropology, including “Biopolitics and the Contemporary Condition,” “Moral Experience,” “Using Anthropology: Applied, Engaged, Political,” and “The Anthropology of Psychic Life.”


Psychological anthropology, medical anthropology, anthropology of ethics and morality, disaster, crisis and care, mental health and psychic life, critical phenomenology, biopolitics, experimental ethnography, collaborative methodologies, South Asia and the Himalayas.

Selected Publications

Peer-Reviewed Articles:

Seale-Feldman, Aidan. 2020. “The Work of Disaster: Building Back Otherwise in Post-Earthquake NepalCultural Anthropology 35 (2): 237-263.


Seale-Feldman, Aidan. 2020. “Historicizing the Emergence of Global Mental Health in Nepal, 1950-2019HIMALAYA: The Journal of the Association for Nepal and Himalayan Studies 39 (2): 29-43.


Seale-Feldman, Aidan. 2019. “Relational Affliction: Reconceptualizing ‘Mass Hysteria’Ethos 47 (3): 307-325. 


Book Reviews

Seale-Feldman, Aidan. 2019. “Book Forum: The Blind Man.” Visual and New Media Review, Fieldsites, June 4. 


Public Scholarship:

Seale-Feldman, Aidan. 2020. "Sunyata Cinema: An Interview with Kesang Tseten." Visual and New Media Review, Fieldsights, November 19.


Seale-Feldman, Aidan. 2020. “Fragments of a Transient Affliction: ‘Mass Hysteria’ and the Question of Subjectivity.Somatosphere. 


Seale-Feldman, Aidan. 2019. “Thinking with Ghosts.The Record Nepal. 


Seale-Feldman, Aidan, and Andrés Romero. 2019. "The Screening Room." Visual and New Media Review, Fieldsights, August 14. 

Basic Title: 
Postdoctoral Research Associate and Lecturer, Bioethics Program
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