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Although we are excited to have our fellows back on campus and working in Byerly Hall, Harvard Radcliffe Institute programs remain primarily virtual as we continue to monitor the coronavirus pandemic. See Coronavirus (COVID-19) Information and Updates.

Fellowship / Fellows

Sarah Pinto

  • 2013–2014
  • Social Sciences
  • ACLS Frederick Burkhardt Fellow
  • Tufts University
Headshot of Sarah Pinto
Photo by Tony Rinaldo

This information is accurate as of the fellowship year indicated for each fellow.

Sarah Pinto is a sociocultural anthropologist at Tufts University with interests in gender, subjectivity, and the social life of medical practice. Her most recent work, an ethnography of gendered components of psychiatric care in India, traces women’s movements through different settings of care—homes, wards, and clinics—and overlapping breakdowns in minds, kinship, and stories. Reconsidering languages used to address ethical crises in global medicine, it locates “dissolution” as an orienting idea in understanding relationships among love, illness, and healing.

Pinto’s work explores the transnational history of the medical disorder “hysteria,” looking in particular at hysteria’s development and transformations in India, a setting in which it has maintained a long and rich presence. Tracing hysteria from early Ayurvedic texts to contemporary clinics and asking how it has taken shape as a medical diagnosis, scientific fact, gendered form of distress, and cultural idea, she asks what hysteria’s non-Western history tells us about the movability and multiplicity of medicine. She proposes in particular that hysteria’s Indian history destabilizes concepts of “universal” and “particular” that are foundational to scientific knowledge.

Pinto received her BA in anthropology at Bryn Mawr College in 1996 and her PhD in anthropology from Princeton University in 2003. Her dissertation on childbirth and child loss in rural north India received a 2003 Sardar Patel Award for the best dissertation on modern India, and she was a postdoctoral fellow in the Department of Social Medicine at Harvard Medical School from 2003 to 2005.

Our 2021–2022 Fellows

01 / 09

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