I am a medical anthropologist whose research and writing explores the intersection of suffering, healing, and politics. My particular research interests engage a range of conceptual and empirical problems that draw on a longstanding interest in religious and psychiatric forms of therapeutic care, subjectivity and the intimacies of political economy, and ethnographic and literary accounts of human flourishing. I teach courses that reflect my background in medical anthropology and Middle East studies, including “Medical Anthropology,” “Culture, Affect, and Psychiatry,” “The Social Life of Catastrophe,” “Anthropology and the Middle East,” and “Istanbul.” I completed my PhD at Case Western Reserve University and received postdoctoral training in the Department of Social Medicine at Harvard Medical School and the Department of Anthropology at Harvard University. I have conducted research exploring the intersection of religious healing and secularism in Turkey and the psychological impact of counter-terrorism surveillance within Boston’s Arab Muslim communities. My publications include Healing Secular Life: Loss and Devotion in Modern Turkey (University of Pennsylvania Press, 2012), The Time of Catastrophe (co-editor, Routledge, 2015), and articles that have appeared in the American Anthropologist; International Journal of Middle East Studies; Culture, Medicine and Psychiatry; Ethos; and International Migration and Human Rights. I am currently working on a project concerned with humanitarian psychiatry and the affective remains of catastrophe in Turkey. 


Selected Publications

Dole, Christopher. 2012. Healing Secular Life: Loss and Devotion in Modern Turkey. Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press.

Healing Secular Life

Reviews:  TimeOut Istanbul ("Book of the Month");  American Ethnologist;  Social Anthropology;  International Journal of Middle East Studies;  Culture, Medicine and Psychiatry;  Medical Anthropology Quarterly;  New Perspectives on Turkey;  Savage Minds;  Somatosphere;  Turkish Review;  Anthropos;  Contemporary Islam;  Journal of Islamic Studies

Dole, Christopher. 2015. Seküler Yaşam ve Şifacılık: Modern Türkiye'de Kayıp ve Adanmışlık. İstanbul: Metis. (Turkish translation of Healing Secular Life).

Edited Volumes:

Dole, Christopher, Robert Hayashi, Andrew Poe, Austin Sarat, and Boris Wolfson, eds. 2015. The Time of Catastrophe: Multidisciplinary Approaches to the Age of Catastrophe. Routledge.

with contributions from Joseph Masco, Carolyn Dean, Lewis Gordon, David Bates, and Elizabeth Stewart

Articles, Chapters, AND INTERVIEWS:

Dole, Christopher. [forthcoming] "The Optimism of Catastrophe: Loss and Livable Futures in Post-Disaster Turkey." Ethnos.

Dole, Christopher. 2023. “Psychiatry, Disaster, Security: Mediterranean Assemblages.” Culture, Medicine, and Psychiatry 47(1): 62-81.

Gordon-Wexler, Mikayla (AC ’19) and Christopher Dole. 2022. “Giving Care a Platform: The Use of Instagram by Mothers of Children with Chronic Illness." Medicine Anthroplogy Theory 9(3): 1-20. 

Dole, Christopher. 2020. "Experiments in Scale: Humanitarian Psychiatry in Post-disaster Turkey." Medical Anthropology 39(5): 398-412.

Power in Medicine: Psychiatry in the Middle East—Interview with Christopher Dole,” by Lamia Moghnieh, 2019. TRAFO-Blog for Transregional Studies.

Dole, Christopher. 2015. “The House That Saddam Built: Protest and Psychiatry in Post-Disaster Turkey.” The Journal of Ottoman and Turkish Studies Association.

Dole, Christopher. 2015. “Secular Histories, Saintly Returns: Death and Devotion in Modern Turkey.” In An Anthropology of Living and Dying in the Contemporary World, Veena Das and Clara Han, eds. Berkeley: University of California Press.

Dole, Christopher, et al. 2015. "When Is Catastrophe?: An Introduction.” In The Time of Catastrophe, C. Dole, R. Hayashi, A. Poe, A. Sarat, and B. Wolfson, eds. Ashgate Publishing.

Dole, Christopher. 2012. "Revolution, Occupation, and Love: The 2011 Year in Cultural Anthropology." American Anthropologist 114(2):227-239.

Csordas, Thomas, Christopher Dole, Allen Tran, Mathew Strickland, Michael Storck. 2010. "Ways of Asking, Ways of Telling: A Methodological Comparison of Ethnographic and Research Diagnostic Interviews." Culture, Medicine and Psychiatry 34:29-55.

Polich, Ginger (AC ’06), Christopher Dole, and Ted Kaptchuk. 2010. “The Need to Act a Little More ‘Scientific’: Biomedical Researchers Investigating Complementary and Alternative Medicine." Sociology of Health & Illness 32(1):106-122.

Dole, Christopher. 2009. "Security and Insecurity in a Global 'War on Terrorism': Arab-Muslim Immigrant Experience in a Post-9/11 America." In International Migration and Human Rights: The Global Repercussions of US Policy, Samuel Martinez, ed. Berkeley: University of California Press.

Dole, Christopher. 2006. "Mass Media and the Repulsive Allure of Religious Healing: The Cinci Hoca in Turkish Modernity." International Journal of Middle East Studies 38(1):31-54.

Kerr, Daniel and Christopher Dole. 2005. "Cracking the Temp Trap: Day Laborers’ Grievances and Strategies for Change in Cleveland, Ohio." Labor Studies Journal 29(4):87-108.

Dole, Christopher. 2004. "In the Shadows of Medicine and Modernity: Medical Integration and Secular Histories of Religious Healing in Turkey." Culture, Medicine and Psychiatry 28(3):255-280.

Dole, Christopher, and Thomas Csordas. 2003. “Trials of Navajo Youth: Identity, Healing, and the Struggle for Maturity.” Ethos 31(3):357-384. [Translated into Portuguese as “Provações dos Jovens Navajos.” Religião & Sociedade 22(2):9-36.]


Selected Awards and Honors
  • NIMH Postdoctoral Training Fellowship, Department of Social Medicine, Harvard Medical School
  • Miner Crary Sabbatical Research Fellowship, Amherst College
  • Dissertation Research Grant, National Institute of Mental Health
  • Predoctoral Research Fellowship, American Research Institute in Turkey
  • Dissertation Writing Grant, Institute of Turkish Studies, Georgetown University
  • Andrew W. Mellon Dissertation Fellow, Seminar in History and Literature, Case Western Reserve University


Courses Taught
  • Medical Anthropology
  • Culture, Affect, and Psychiatry
  • Anthropology and the Middle East
  • The Social Life of Catastrophe
  • Istanbul
  • Islamophobia
  • Madness and Politics
  • Healing: Meaning, Performance, Power
  • Global Health: Inequality, Crisis, Care
  • Topics in Contemporary Anthropology