Elizabeth A. Carpenter-Song

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.


413 Silsby Hall
HB 6047


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

Selected Publications

  • Carpenter-Song, Elizabeth and Claire Snell-Rood. 2016. The Changing Context of the Rural U.S.: A Call to Examine the Impacts of Social Change and Rising Social Inequality on Mental Health and Mental Health Care. Psychiatric Services 68(5):503-506.

  • Carpenter-Song, Elizabeth, Joelle Ferron, and Sara Kobylenski. 2016. Social Exclusion and Survival for Families Facing Homelessness in Rural New England. Journal of Social Distress and the Homeless 25(1):41-52.

  • Carpenter-Song, Elizabeth. 2015. Putting Meaning into Medicine: Why Context Matters in Psychiatry. Epidemiology and Psychiatric Sciences 24(4):292-295.

  • Willen, Sarah and Elizabeth Carpenter-Song. 2013. Guest Editors, Special Issue. Cultural Competence in Action: 'Lifting the Hood' on Four Case Studies in Medical Education. Culture Medicine and Psychiatry 37(2):241-252.

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