Assistant Professor, Anthropology
Rebecca Seligman (Ph.D., Emory) is an assistant professor in Northwestern’s Department of Anthropology who works in the areas of medical anthropology, psychological anthropology, and transcultural psychiatry. Seligman is interested in the relationships of individual experience, social and political contexts, and cultural models of selfhood to outcomes such as post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), dissociation, somatization, diabetes, and depression. She is also engaged with current neuroscience research concerning these phenomena, and has published several articles critically engaging with the field of cultural neuroscience.
Her past research has explored the relationship among self-narrative, embodiment, and mental health among possession mediums in Northeastern Brazil and Mexican diabetes patients in the US. Seligman’s current project investigates how Mexican-American adolescents engage in processes of self-making in relation to their experiences of patienthood in a psychiatric clinic. Seligman is the author of the book Possessing Spirits and Healing Selves: Embodiment and Transformation in an Afro-Brazilian Religion, as well as articles published in the journals Transcultural Psychiatry, Culture Medicine and Psychiatry, Medical Anthropology, Social Cognitive Affective Neuroscience, Progress in Brain Research and Ethos. She is co-editor and contributor to the forthcoming Oxford Handbook of Cultural Neuroscience.