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Dr Hanna Kienzler


I completed my PhD in cultural and medical anthropology at the Departments of Anthropology and Social Studies of Medicine at McGill University, Montreal, Canada. I worked as a Postdoctoral Fellow in the Department of Psychiatry and the Psychosocial Research Division at the Douglas Mental Health University Institute at McGill University and as a Research Associate for the Trauma and Global Health (TGH) program. I have a long-standing academic interest in the field of global health, in connection with organized violence, ethnic conflict, and complex emergencies, and their mental health outcomes. Within this broad field of enquiry, I am particularly interested in the social determinants of health and illness, gender based violence, trauma, PTSD, local idioms of distress, resilience, and local forms of healing as well as in the growing field of human rights and humanitarian and clinical interventions.

I conduct long-term ethnographic research in Kosovo and the Palestinian Territories. In Kosovo, I investigated the impact of war, violence and trauma on Kosovar Albanian women. In particular, I examined the role of social and cultural factors affecting mental health and how Kosovar Albanian women think about and act on health problems by describing their beliefs about sickness, their decisions about how to act in response to particular episodes of sickness, and their expectations and evaluations of specific types of health care. Recently, I started a new transnational research project that examines the interrelations between global health agendas and humanitarian and mental-health aid programs in both Kosovo and the Palestinian Territories. Through my engagement with the TGH program, I am collaborating with researchers and clinicians from Canada, Guatemala, Nepal, Peru and Sri Lanka in global health research, capacity building, and knowledge transfer. Moreover, I am engaged in capacity building through my work as a Consultant and Trainer for UNICEF and the Kosovo Health Foundation (KHF).

I am looking forward to teaching graduate and undergraduate courses on topics related to global (mental) health; social and cultural dimensions of health and illness; socio-cultural studies of the body; violence, trauma and healing; etc. It is especially important for me to directly include students in my work. Therefore, my teaching is research based and I will engage students in research in different parts of the world as well as in the creation of an interdisciplinary environment characterized by collegiality and constructive dialogue with biomedical researchers and practitioners, and with policy makers.

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Tel: + 44 (0)207 848 7114

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