Assistant Professor of Contemporary Chinese
Culture and Society, Barnard College
BA: Pomona College
MIA: Columbia University
PhD: University of California, Berkeley
EAAS UN3844 Culture, Mental Health and Healing in East Asia
EAAS GU4236 China’s Long 1980s (with Prof. Ying Qian)
EAAS GU4840 China and the Politics of Desire
FYS BBC1740 Approaching Trauma
Addiction and recovery, labor, civil society, psychoanalysis, groups and authority
Nicholas Bartlett is an anthropologist of China with training in medical anthropology and psychoanalysis. His first book, Recovering Histories: Life and Labor after Heroin in Reform-era China (University of California and Columbia Weatherhead 2020), offers a phenomenological account of long-term heroin users’ experiences recovering from addiction in a tin mining city. His current research explores the introduction of group relations conferences to China. In events designed to provoke phantasy and conflict, everything from geopolitical tensions to intimate dreams is made available for attendees to connect, critique, and reflect upon. Fieldwork in staff and member roles at conferences and in visits to workplaces explores how the negotiation of meanings in and around GRCs contributes to imagining authority and collective life in contemporary China and beyond.
He did his undergraduate degree at Pomona College and studied and worked in international public health before completing his PhD in medical anthropology at UC Berkeley and UCSF. Prior to coming to Barnard, he taught anthropology courses at USC and UCLA and was a research analyst candidate at the New Center for Psychoanalysis in Los Angeles.
Recovering Histories: Life and Labor after Heroin in Reform-era China. University of California Press and Columbia Weatherhead Series, 2020.
“The Ones Who Struck Out: Entrepreneurialism, Heroin Addiction, and Historical Obsolescence in Reform Era China,” positions: asia critique 26.3 (2018).
“Idling in Mao’s Shadow: Heroin Addiction and the Contested Therapeutic Value of Socialist Traditions of Laboring,” Culture, Medicine, and Psychiatry (2018) 42.1.