SOAS University of London

Department of Anthropology and Sociology

Ms Liana Chase

BA (Dartmouth College), MSc (McGill University)
  • Overview
  • Research


Liana Chase
Ms Liana Chase
Email address:
Thesis title:
Healing 'Heart-Minds': Shifting Ecologies of Care in Post-Earthquake Nepal
Internal Supervisors


I am a doctoral candidate in anthropology at SOAS, University of London and hold a MSc in psychiatry from McGill University. My research is situated at the intersection of anthropology and psychiatry, engaging ethnographic methods to generate insights into processes of suffering, resilience, and care in humanitarian settings. I have been engaged in medical anthropological research in Nepal for ten years, including as a Fulbright scholar (2011-2012). I have also worked extensively with asylum seekers, refugees, and torture survivors in Canada and the US.

  • Chase, L. E. & Rousseau, C. 2018. Ethnographic case study of a community day center for asylum seekers as early stage mental health intervention. American Journal of Orthopsychiatry, 88(1): 48-55.
  • Chase, L. E., Cleveland, J., Beatson, J., Rousseau, C. 2017. The gap between entitlement and access to healthcare: An analysis of “candidacy” in the help-seeking trajectories of asylum seekers in Montreal. Social Science and Medicine, 182: 52-59.
  • Chase, L. E. & Sapkota, R. P. 2017. “In our community, a friend is a psychologist:” An ethnographic study of informal care in two Bhutanese refugee communities. Transcultural Psychiatry, 53(3): 400-422.
  • Chase, L. E. & Bhattarai, D. 2013. “Making peace in the heart-mind:” Towards an ethnopsychology of resilience among Bhutanese refugees. European Bulletin of Himalayan Research, 43: 144-166.
  • Chase, L. E., Welton-Mitchell, C. & Bhattarai, S. 2013. “Solving tension:” Coping among Bhutanese refugees in Nepal. International Journal of Migration, Health and Social Care, 9(2): 71-83.

PhD Research

In spring 2015, a devastating earthquake struck Nepal. In the months that followed, mental health projects proliferated across affected rural communities in the Himalayan foothills. In a region where psychological suffering had long been managed by shamans and faith healers, a coalition of humanitarian actors and governmental agencies have now trained thousands of frontline health and psychosocial workers to identify and treat mental health problems and effected significant changes in mental health policy, budgeting, and pharmaceutical availability. My doctoral research treats this rapid ‘scaling up’ process as a window onto the ways globalized mental health discourses and practices are assimilated within particular local social fields under the auspices of humanitarian intervention. Over fourteen months of ethnographic fieldwork, I traced the multiple translations and transformations ‘mental health care’ underwent on the journey from international guidelines to application in a rural community in the Himalayan foothills. In my analysis, I seek to reframe foundational debates in cultural psychiatry and psychological anthropology in ways that enable novel insights.


  • 2018. ‘Rethinking Vulnerability in Psychosocial Counselling in Nepal: Lessons from a Short-Lived Intervention’, Vulnerabilities, Uppsala.
  • 2018. ‘Psychosocialization in Nepal: New Categories, Old Afflictions’, Nepal Study Days, Britain-Nepal Academic Council, Durham.
  • 2017. ‘Shifting Ecologies of Care in Post-Earthquake Nepal: Implications for the Anthropology of Global Mental Health’, American Anthropological Association Annual Meeting, Washington, D.C. December, 2017.


  • Transcultural Psychosocial Organization-Nepal
  • Centre for Nepal and Asian Studies, Tribhuvan University


  • Global mental health
  • Psychological anthropology
  • Cultural psychiatry
  • Nepal and Himalayan studies
  • Anthropology of care
  • Forced migration