Professor Chikako Ozawa-de Silva to open Culpeper Seminar series

The first Culpeper Seminar Series lecture of the 2012-13 academic year will be given by Chikako Ozawa-de Silva, Associate Professor of Anthropology at Emory University (Atlanta, Georgia).

Dr Ozawa-de Silva will talk about “Toward a Culturally Situated Understanding of Meaning and Mental Well-Being: Japan in the Era of Suicide and Depression“. Suicide prevention has become a major public health policy issue in Japan over the past decade due to extremely elevated suicide rates since 1998. Discourse in Japan on suicide prevention has nevertheless focused almost exclusively on the state of the Japanese economy and levels of mental illness, neglecting the subjective experience of suicidal individuals and the roles that meaning and positive mental health play in suicide and its prevention. Increasing evidence suggests that a lack of positive mental health may be more important than the presence of mental illness in predicting future suicide attempts, and also that treatment of mental illness alone may not address the lack of psychological and social well-being (including meaning or purpose in life, loneliness, and existential suffering) implicated in suicidality.

Dr. Ozawa-de Silva received her D. Phil. in social and cultural anthropology from Oxford University in 2001. Following that, she was a Visiting Research Fellow at Harvard’s Department of Social Medicine, and a Post-Doctoral Fellow at the University of Chicago, before being appointed as an Associate Professor at Emory University.

The first seminar of the Culpeper Seminar series for AA 2012/13 will take place on
Wednesday, October 17, at Laurel Heights Campus, conference Room 474, at 330 pm. All are welcome to attend.

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Last modified: September 13, 2012