Strauss, Annika


Annika Strauss graduated (Magistra Artium) in Social Anthropology (Main Subject), Political Science (1st Subsidiary) and Economic Policy (2nd Subsidiary) in October 2010. Her final thesis is titled “Homeless Madmen/women – Ethnography of a Rehabilitation Project for Mentally Ill Roadside Destitutes in Western India” and is based on a field research conducted from September 2008 till February 2009 in an NGO near Mumbai/India. Since November 2010 she is doctoral candidate in Social Anthropology at the Institut für Ethnologie/Westfaelische-Wilhelms-Universitaet Muenster (doctoral adviser: Prof. Dr. Helene Basu). Her research project “Sex-Gender and Psychiatry in Mumbai” is once more placed in the field of Transcultural Psychiatry. It focuses on the question how the category “sex-gender” moulds biomedical practice in two cosmopolitan (public and private) psychiatric institutions in Mumbai/India. Since September 2012 she works as a lecturer at the Institut für Ethnologie/WWU Münster and regularly teaches Bachelor and Master classes in Social Anthropology.

Field Research

03.2007 Research internship at ZIPP – Zentrum fuer Transkulturelle Psychiatrie und Psychotherapie [Centre of Transcultural Psychiatry and Psychotherapy] at the Charité (Berlin) under the supervision of Dr. med. E. Wohlfart; study research project „Wahrnehmung von Besessenheit unter in der Klinik für Psychotherapie und Psychiatrie beschäftigten PsychiaterInnen und PsychotherapeutInnen“ [„The Perception of Possession by Psychiatrist and Psychotherapists in the Clinic of Psychotherapy and Psychiatry/Charité“]

9.- 12. 2008 Research internship in an NGO concerned with the rehabilitation of mentally ill roadside destitutes near Mumbai/India sponsored by Heinrich Hertz-Stiftung NRW, Mentor: Dr. Katy Y. Gandevia (Tata Institute of Social Sciences (TISS), Mumbai)

03.2011 – 02.2012; 03. + 09.2013 Field research in two psychiatric institutions in Mumbai/India, data collection for phd-thesis „Sex-Gender and Psychiatry in Mumbai“, sponsored by Deutscher Akademischer Austauschdienst (DAAD)

Research Interests

Transcultural Psychiatry and Medical Anthropology, Concept of Person and Self, Public Health, Gender Studies, Anthropology of Institutions, Anthropology of Biomedicine, Learning and Teaching

Research Area(s)

South Asia (in particular Mumbai/Maharashtra)


Monographs and Edited Volumes

2011. „Ethnografie eines Rehabilitationsprojekts für psychisch kranke Obdachlose im westlichen Indien. Die heimatlosen Verrückten“. Hamburg: Verlag Dr. Kovac.

2015. (guest editor together with Marion Linska): „Selbstreflexion im Kontext medizinethnologischer Langzeitfeldforschung/Self-reflection in the Context of Long-term Field Research in Medical Anthropology“. Curare 38 (1+2).

Journal Articles

2015. „Beyond the Black Box and Therapy Culture – ‚Verstörende‘ Feldforschungserfahrungen als Zugang zu lokalem Wissen verstehen lernen“. Curare 38 (1+2), S. 87-102 (Ed. together with Marion Linska: „Selbstreflexion im Kontext medizinethnologischer Langzeitfeldforschung/Self-reflection in the Context of Long-term Field Research in Medical Anthropology“).

Chapters in Edited Books


2015. „Selbstreflexion im Kontext medizinethnologischer Langzeitfeldforschung. Einleitung“. In: Curare 38 (1+2), S. 9-24 (Ed. together with Marion Linska: „Selbstreflexion im Kontext medizinethnologischer Langzeitfeldforschung/Self-reflection in the Context of Long-term Field Research in Medical Anthropology“).

Conference Presentations (since 2007)

2015. Workshop on „Postcolonial Encounters“ organized by Tata Institute of Social Sciences Tuljapur and Department of Social Anthropology, WWU Muenster, DAAD “A New Passage to India”; February 23rd-25th, Tuljapur Campus, Tuljapur, Osmanabad, Maharashtra, India: „Laboratory: Unsettling Experiences in Cross-Cultural Encounters”

2014. 27th FK-AGEM e.V. “Global Mental Health – Mental Health in Africa, Asia and Latin America from Anthropological and Cultural Psychiatric Points of View/Psychische Gesundheit und Krankheit in Afrika, Asien und Lateinamerika aus ethnologischer und kulturpsychiatrischer Sicht, Heidelberg Völkerkundemuseum“ June 27th-29th: „’What a Psychiatric Patient Can Tell Us about Psychiatric Culture?’ – Reflections on Anthropological Fieldwork in Two Psychiatric Institutions in Mumbai/India“

2014. Talk at „Chalo India“, Indian Film Festival Münster, April 24th-26th: „Die weibliche Verrücktheit – Frauen zwischen Depression und Besessenheit in der indischen Psychiatrie” [„Female Madness – Women, Depression, and Possession in Indian Psychiatry]

2013. 26th FK-AGEM e.V. “Stranger and Friend – Der Platz langfristiger Feldforschungen in den Diskursen zur ‘Global Health’ / The Place of Long Term Anthropological Field Research for the Project of ‘Global Health’“, November 15th-17th – Anthropos-Institut in St. Augustin: „‚Staying Sane in Insane Places‘ – Reflektionen über ‚erschütternde‘ Feldforschungserfahrungen in psychiatrischen Settings“ [„Reflections on ‚Unsettling‘ Fieldwork Experiences in Psychiatric Settings“]

2012. International Conference „Psychotic Experiences, Religion, and Spirituality“, May 14th–16th, Université Paris Descartes, 45 rue des Saints-Pères – Paris: „Workshop: Fieldwork Notes on Religious Psychotic Episodes in Psychiatric Facilities” held together with Tiago Pires Marques (Cermes 3 – Un. Paris Descartes; CEHR – Catholic Un. Portugal), Livia Velpry (Cermes 3 – Un. Paris Descartes), and Mônica Nunes (NISAM – Federal University of Bahia)

2010. 23rd FK-AGEM „40 Jahre Forschen im Interdisziplinären Arbeitsfeld Ethnologie & Medizin: Rückblick und Ausblicke“ [„40 Years of Research in the Interdisciplinary Field of Social Anthropology & Medicine: Retrospect and Perspectives“], Heidelberg Völkerkundemuseum, October 22th-24th: “’They are like our children’ – Das Rehabilitationskonzept einer NGO für psychisch kranke Obdachlose im westlichen Indien” [„The Concept of Rehabilitation Prevalent in an NGO Taking Care of Mentally Ill Roadside Destitutes in Western India“]

2007. 4th Student-Symposium in Social-Anthropology, „Ethnologie – ein sinnliches Abenteuer“ [„Social Anthropology – A Sensual Experience“], June 15th-17th, Georg-August-Universität Göttingen: „Nicht mehr Herr der eignen Sinne?! – Überlegungen zur ethnologischen Interpretation des Phänomens der Besessenheit und seiner Wahrnehmung im westlich psychiatrischen Kontext“ [„Being Out of One‘s Senses!? – Reflections on Social Anthropological Interpretation of Possession Phenomena and its Perception in Western Psychiatric Contexts“]