Photo of Susannah A L Deane

Dr Susannah A L Deane

PhD (Cardiff), Ma (Bristol), BA (Wales)Hons) (Wales)

  • BS8 1TB

20182019

Research output per year

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Personal profile

Research interests

My current British Academy research project, based on ethnographic fieldwork within Tibetan areas of Qinghai, northwest China, is entitled “Madness, mental health and Buddhism: an examination of smyo nad (‘madness’) in the Tibetan context”. Taking an anthropological approach to the study of religion, my research focuses on Tibetan perspectives on mental health, illness, and healing, examining in particular overlaps between “religion” and “medicine” in Tibetan cultural contexts. In such communities, medical practitioners may also be monastic or ritual specialists, and explanations of illness causation and treatment frequently span these interrelated spheres. Whilst many in contemporary Tibetan communities may also utilise biomedical concepts and treatment protocols, my research explores how long-standing Tibetan notions about the mind and body, and individuals’ relationships to the wider world – including the numerous spirits and deities understood to reside in it – inform explanations of illness, especially those associated with the mind and “mental health”.

 

Background

I completed my PhD at Cardiff University in 2015, under the supervision of Prof Geoffrey Samuel. Based on ethnographic fieldwork within a Tibetan exile community in Darjeeling, northeast India, this research focused on lay perspectives on mental health, illness and healing in a culturally- and medically-pluralistic context. Prior to this, I gained a BA(Hons) in Psychology at the University of Wales, Bangor, and an MA in Buddhist Studies from the University of Bristol.

I have taught courses including Tibetan Buddhism, Foundations of Buddhism, and Chan Buddhism at the University of Chichester, Canterbury Christ Church University, and the University of Glasgow.

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Research Output

  • 2 Chapter in a book
  • 1 Authored book
  • 1 Article (Academic Journal)
  • 1 Editorial (Academic Journal)

Introduction to Special Section of Journal of Religion and Health, ‘Mental Health, The Mind and Consciousness: Tibetan and Western Approaches’

Samuel, G. & Deane, S., 1 Mar 2019, In : Journal of Religion and Health. 58 (Special supplement)

Research output: Contribution to journalEditorial (Academic Journal)

Madness and the spirits: Examining the Role of Spirits in Mental Illness in the Tibetan Communities of Darjeeling

Deane, S., 1 Jul 2019, Knowledge and Context in the Tibetan Medical Tradition. Leiden: Brill Academic Publishers, p. 309-336 27 p.

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter in a book

  • Mental Health and Illness in Contemporary Perspective: In Conversation with Dr Teinlay P. Trogawa

    Deane, S., 10 Nov 2019, Anthology of Buddhism and Medicine 2: Modern and Contemporary Voices. Salguero, P. (ed.). 9 p.

    Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter in a book

  • Activities

    • 5 Participation in conference
    • 1 Editorial activity

    International Society for Ethnology and Folklore SIEF 2019, 14th Congress

    Susannah A L Deane (Participant)

    14 Apr 201917 Apr 2019

    Activity: Participating in or organising an event typesParticipation in conference

    15th Seminar of the International Association for Tibetan Studies (IATS)

    Susannah A L Deane (Participant)

    7 Jul 201913 Jul 2019

    Activity: Participating in or organising an event typesParticipation in conference

    2018 Beijing International Conference on Tibetan Medicine

    Susannah A L Deane (Participant)

    3 Aug 20185 Aug 2018

    Activity: Participating in or organising an event typesParticipation in conference