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CJS Thursday Lecture Series | The Anatomy of Loneliness: Suicide, Social Connection, and the Search for Relational Meaning in Contemporary Japan

Chikako Ozawa-de Silva, Professor of Anthropology, Emory University
Thursday, October 6, 2022
12:00-1:30 PM
Room 1010 Weiser Hall Map
Please note: This lecture will be held in person in room 1010 Weiser Hall and virtually via Zoom. This webinar is free and open to the public, but registration is required. Once you've registered, the joining information will be sent to your email. Register for the Zoom webinar at:

Loneliness has been increasingly recognized as one of the greatest public health threat and this talk examines what is and is not loneliness, conditions of the “lonely society” and the role of culture in loneliness. Based on my long-term ethnographic studies, I point to how society itself can exacerbate experiences of loneliness. One of the most important messages of this talk is that the anatomy of loneliness is not the anatomy of a single individual, but of a type of society.

Chikako Ozawa-de Silva, D.Phil., is a Professor of Anthropology at Emory University. She came to Emory after serving as a Visiting Research Fellow at Harvard University’s Department of Social Medicine and as a Post-Doctoral Fellow at the University of Chicago. She is a NEH (National Endowment for the Humanities) grant recipient and a Mind and Life Contemplative Studies Fellowship (The John Templeton Foundation) recipient. Her academic vision is to contribute to cross-cultural understandings of health, illness and well-being by bringing Western and Asian perspectives on the mind-body, religion, medicine, and therapy into fruitful dialogue. Her publications include two monographs, The Anatomy of Loneliness: Suicide, Social Connection and the Search for Relational Meaning in Contemporary Japan (University of California Press, 2021) and Psychotherapy and Religion in Japan: The Japanese Introspection Practice of Naikan (Routledge, 2006), as well as a co-edited special issue “Toward an Anthropology of Loneliness” in Transcultural Psychiatry (57:5, 2020, co-edited with Michelle Parsons), and over twenty peer-reviewed articles and book chapters on psychotherapeutic practice, suicide, the mind-body relationship and Tibetan medicine. For the past ten years her research has focused on loneliness, empathy, meaning-making, subjectivity and resilience, particularly among populations at risk for suicide, in situations of domestic violence, and in prison, in Japan and the US.

This lecture is made possible with the generous support of the U.S. Department of Education Title VI grant.

If there is anything we can do to make this event accessible to you, please contact us. Please be aware that advance notice is necessary as some accommodations may require more time for the university to arrange.
Building: Weiser Hall
Event Type: Lecture / Discussion
Tags: Anthropology, Asia, Japanese Studies
Source: Happening @ Michigan from Center for Japanese Studies, International Institute, Asian Languages and Cultures