This Opportunity is Currently in Draft


This program is done in collaboration with the Keystone Foundation and will include research in the field and working with community students. Limited to 12 students.

  • Anthropology 4530: Mental Health, Healing Systems, and Community-Based Care: Community Resilience and Culture in the Nilgiris (4 credits)

Course Description: Global Mental Health is a growing and important field. Anthropology has a long history of contributing to debates in cross-cultural psychiatry and psychotherapy, as well as to the perennial questions of "nature versus nurture" in defining "normal" versus "pathological" ways of being human. We examine the efficacy of traditional and community-based mental health practices in a non-Western indigenous context as well as the challenges to accessible care posed by inequality and poverty, as well as the stigmas surrounding mental illness in varied cultural contexts. In addition to exploring traditional healing traditions, we will study the efficacy of new community-based forms of biomedical care, as they relate to both debates on changing health care practices and aspirational needs (e.g., bio-medicalization vs. alternative "traditional" medicine; the need for better healthcare delivery systems, etc.) and ideas of the person, wellbeing, and the ethical life that exist within Nilgiris societies.

Prerequisite: one course in social science or approval by the instructor

The ANTHR 4530 course counts toward:

  • the Anthropology major and minor;
  • the Biology & Society major and minor;
  • the Global Health minor;
  • the engaged/experiential learning requirement for the Global and Public Health Sciences major and the Global Health minor;
  • and may count toward Global Development major elective credit (students must petition to their advisor)

The course counts toward the 120 credits that Cornell undergraduate students must earn for graduation. Depending on a student's college, the courses may also fulfill other requirements for electives, distribution requirements, or majors.

Course expectations

You'll be expected to:

  • Attend class daily.
  • Complete all assignments in a timely manner.
  • Read assigned materials in advance of each class period.
  • Participate in class discussions, case studies, seminars, and field excursions.