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Dr Elizabeth Hunter Turk

Dr Elizabeth Hunter Turk

Research Associate




2017 PhD Social Anthropology, University of Cambridge
2013 MA Sociocultural Anthropology, Columbia University
2007 BSc Women's Studies (with honors); BSc General Biology, University of Michigan

I began research in Mongolia in 2010 as a Fulbright scholar exploring shamanic healing practices, specifically the connection between spiritual illness and the impending mining boom. Research interests since then have moved towards a practice-focused approach to the study of healing and an effort to historicize such practices with respect to Soviet-era Mongolia. My doctoral dissertation explores entanglements of body, national identity and nature in contemporary Mongolia. The project is situated within the rising popularity of natural remedies and alternative medicine during a time described as disorganized (zambaraagui) and disorderly. Data was collected from 33 months of fieldwork in Ulaanbaatar and elsewhere, focused on non-biomedical healing practices and therapeutic landscapes, especially mineral springs (arshaan) and their sanatoria.

Research Interests

Anthropology of Mongolia and Inner Asia; medical anthropology; well-being, healing and the body; practice and orthopraxy; spiritual counsel; Soviet medicine and its afterlife; shamanism; nationalism; issues of cultural rupture, continuity and representation; environment and landscape; post-socialism; affect, wonderment and ordinary miracles.


SAN10: The Anthropology of Post-socialist Societies

SAN8: Anthropology and Development

SAN 4/7: The Anthropology of Inner Asia: Rethinking shamanic 'revival'