Aaron Mascarenhas

Field of Interest(s)
Medical Anthropology
Psychiatric & Psychological Anthropology
Postcolonial Subjectivity vis-a-vis Psychiatric Practice
Discourses of Belonging
Philosophy of Science

My career and research trajectory begins at the intersections of medicine and the humanities. I completed my MBBS (Bachelor of Medicine and Bachelor of Surgery) at Kasturba Medical College, Mangalore, India. My experience as a medical practitioner strengthened my conviction that there was much that contemporary medical pedagogy cannot teach its students about health, care, and healing. I spent the next few years as a student of the humanities. I obtained a Master's in Liberal Studies from Ashoka University, Sonipat, India, where I studied the relationship between the linguistic and ethical dimensions of medical eponyms named after perpetrators of the Holocaust. At Simon Fraser University, Vancouver, Canada, I developed a framework to recognise epistemic forms of oppression in medical practice and completed an MA in Philosophy.


I have found a disciplinary home in anthropology since its methods allow me to express more clearly my embeddedness and commitment to the social networks that motivate my academic inquiries. My doctoral research focuses on ayurvedic psychiatry. This novel practice blends an indigenous Indian system of medicine - ayurveda - with DSM-based psychiatry. I am interested in studying concepts and spaces of belonging like family, locality, state, and nation as they are expressed in the categories of this new psychiatry.