Amadeus Harte and Yanping Ni Present Fieldwork Proposals to Department of Anthropology

March 28, 2024

Amadeus Harte and Yanping Ni, third-year graduate students in Anthropology, presented their fieldwork proposals to the Department of Anthropology community on March 29th. 

Amadeus Harte's fieldwork proposal is titled, "Psychedelics: A Paradigm Shift in Psychiatry? An ethnography of a clinical trial using LSD to Treat Addiction." During this year long fieldwork based in London, she will follow patients before, during, and after the trial, as well as the psychiatrists, neuroscientists, and psychologists who work with them, in order to understand two parallel questions: Firstly, is psychedelic psychiatry the paradigm shift it has promised to be? Secondly, what are the socio-environmental factors that contribute to their mental health, and how do these factors intersect with treatment outcomes? These questions reveal epistemological and ontological tensions regarding the causes of addiction (and psychiatric disorder more generally), and ultimately, what it means to be a human with a brain in an environment with other people.

Yanping Ni’s proposal is titled, “When the Market is Shuffling Cards: New Human and Fibrous Players in the Chinese Textile Economy.” Her fourteen-month-long fieldwork will examine the emergence of experiments in fiber and textiles among young entrepreneurs in Nantong, Jiangsu Province, China. It explores how shifts and anxieties around foreign trade, access to markets, changing tastes, and environmental challenges are expressed in textiles as ongoing material experiments; and how extensive networks of workers, supply chains, market strategies, and environmental relations in the textile industry articulate the possibilities and perils of a prospective post-pandemic economic and social order in places once oriented toward the ever-opening global market for Chinese manufactures. She will trace new fibrous experimentation through business dinners, factory floors, design studios, showrooms, and so on. She hopes her ethnography will enhance a deep understanding of how human and material agency plays out during what she calls “the times of geopolitical rivalry and tactical disconnection.”