Dr Kitty Wheater

kitty wheater

Postdoctoral Affiliate

Email: kitty.wheater@anthro.ox.ac.uk

Kitty read History at Oxford before training as an anthropologist through an MPhil and DPhil. Her research focuses on mindfulness-based approaches to health and wellbeing, particularly Mindfulness-based Cognitive Therapy and its derived programmes.

Kitty’s DPhil thesis, Once More to the Body: an Ethnography of Mindfulness Practitioners in the United Kingdom, was supervised by Elisabeth Hsu and Caroline Potter. Drawing on fifteen months of ethnographic fieldwork, it explored techniques of self-shaping among participants and practitioners of Mindfulness-based Cognitive Therapy. Her thesis highlighted the paradoxes that occur as mindfulness, derived from Buddhist meditation practices, emerges in evidence-based medicine and psychotherapy. She argues that tensions such as that between 'compliance' and 'compassion' in mindfulness-based approaches are irreducible, but productive of new and dynamic forms of therapeutic subjectivity.

Kitty’s postdoctoral work focuses upon the use of mindfulness in kin relations. She asks how kinship is mediated not only by new technologies, but also by new technologies of the self. Her research interests fall within the anthropology of medicine and religion, including the body and embodiment, ethics and subjectivity, time, gender, and kinship.  

In the Oxford colleges Kitty teaches social and medical anthropology papers, and an interdisciplinary history-anthropology paper. She is also a Mindfulness-based Cognitive Therapy teacher and Associate at the Oxford Mindfulness Centre, in the Department of Psychiatry at the University of Oxford.


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