Elizabeth A. Carpenter-Song

|Research Assoc Professor
Academic Appointments

Research Associate Professor

My work explores lived experiences of mental illness and the contemporary context of U.S. mental health services. As a medical and psychological anthropologist, my scholarship aims to contribute to flows of knowledge and practice between anthropology and medicine. My scholarship is grounded in experience-based and meaning-centered approaches in medical and psychological anthropology, which aim to unite engagement with lived experiences of distress with attention to how structural forces produce and exacerbate suffering. My research in the anthropology of mental health spans three primary areas: (1) examining lived experiences of illness, recovery, and health services; (2) examining the culture of U.S. psychiatry; and (3) translating anthropological concepts and methods to mental health research and practice.


Silsby, Room 413
HB 6047


  • PhD, 2007, Case Western Reserve University
  • M.A., 2004, Case Western Reserve University
  • A.B., 2001 Dartmouth College

Selected Publications

  • Carpenter-Song, Elizabeth. 2023. Families on the Edge: Experiences of Homelessness and Care in Rural New England. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press.

  • Carpenter-Song, Elizabeth. 2020. Promoting meaningful recovery with digital mental health care. Epidemiology and Psychiatric Sciences, 29, e105.

  • Sosin, Anne N. & Carpenter-Song, Elizabeth. 2020. Village Versus Virus: Rural Ethos Protects Where Public Health Fails. Health Affairs Forefront.

  • Carpenter-Song, Elizabeth. 2019. "The kids were my drive": Shattered Families, Moral Striving, and the Loss of Parental Selves in the Wake of Homelessness. Ethos 47:54-72.

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