Challenges of Teaching Clinically Applied Anthropology and Cultural Psychiatry in India: An Evolving Partnership between a UK University and an Indian NGO

Jane Degres, Sumeet Jain, Roland Littlewood, Vandana Gopikumar, Mirjam Dijkxhoorn, Sushrut Jadhav

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

The current emphasis on Global Mental Health risks losing the focus on the local and the particular and rendering anthropological insight pertinent. A more critical examination of pedagogical methods and curricula, and of the challenges of establishing collaborative, balanced partnerships is required.

Since 2006, a group of clinical anthropologists1 based at UCL and members of The Banyan2, have been working together on an innovative series of short, annual courses on social science theory and methods applied to mental health in South Asia. A UCL/BALM3 research unit was also established in 2008 employing local researchers to conduct joint studies into mental health and its related stigma in the Indian context. Following a brief history and outline of the collaboration, this paper discusses specific challenges: institutional issues and local economics; history and power dynamics; teaching versus training; working within mixed disciplinary and ?cultural? domains both in the UK and India; and the spatial and temporal challenges of supervising research across continents. The paper concludes by reflecting on the contribution this collaboration has made to knowledge flow, examining localised and culturally specific understandings of pedagogy. These insights offer potential for similar international organisations seeking to establish inclusive and effective partnerships between frequently disparate contexts.

Original languageEnglish
JournalTeaching Anthropology: Society for Anthropology in Community Colleges Notes
Volume2
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2013

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