Laura Steil, PhD
Laura is an anthropologist interested in the ways health and well-being are shaped by disparities in power and capital and by transnational flows of people, goods, and images. Her research focuses on mental health, migration, social justice, and the cultural dynamics of global cities. Laura’s teaching and research emphasize the importance of the embodied experience, which she approaches both as an object of study and as a tool for achieving knowledge. She conducted a decade-long study in Paris, among urban dancers of African and Caribbean origin, examining the role of dance for achieving resilience and dignity as well advancing political agendas regarding social justice and cultural memory in postcolonial France. Before joining IHP in June 2016, Laura taught medical anthropology in an urban nursing college located in a Parisian outer-city. She worked in a public hospital as part of a team of health professionals and researchers in a unique psychiatry unit approaching mental health from a transcultural perspective and bridging biomedical and “traditional” systems of interpretation and healing.