Dr Paola Esposito

Paola Esposito

Departmental Lecturer in Medical Anthropology

Medical anthropology; multimodal (visual, performance, graphic) anthropology; sensory perception; images and imagination; ecological relations; apprenticeship and skilled practice; Japan (notions of self, relations between aesthetics and religion); transnationalism; the lived body. 


Email: paola.esposito@anthro.ox.ac.uk

Teaching and research interests

Paola’s research interests pivot around the theme of the lived body and the relationships between perceptual experiences and imagination of the body across artistic, therapeutic and medical domains. She has conducted long-term multi-sited fieldwork on the transnational and Japanese dance and wellbeing system butoh. She has also worked with performers and makers from different backgrounds. Her recent research has included studies of material-corporeal entanglements and their implications for notions of the self and for wellbeing. Her current research is on the development of multimodal methodologies and the use of visual methods in medical anthropology.

As Departmental Lecturer, Paola continues her work as an Early-Career Teaching and Research Fellow in Medical Anthropology at the Institute of Social and Cultural Anthropology in 2016-2017. She lectures and tutors medical anthropology MSc and MPhil students, undergraduates in medical anthropology, social anthropology, the anthropology of Japan, and clinical medical students taking the special studies module in medical anthropology. She also teaches ethnographic research methods to doctoral students from a variety of backgrounds, including anthropology, education, geography, primary health care, politics and social policy. She has experience in leading workshops on performance anthropology for anthropologists and professional performers. Paola continues to convene the Green Templeton College Medical Anthropology Film & Discussion Group.

Selected publications

Esposito, P. and T. Kasai (2017). Butoh Dance and Noguchi Taiso: Performance and Healing. In Karkou V. and Lycouris S. (eds) The Oxford Handbook of Dance and Wellbeing. Oxford and New York: Oxford University Press.

Hsu, E. and P. Esposito, eds (2017). Anthropology Matters, Especially in Times of Crisis. Journal of the Anthropological Society of Oxford-online. Vol. 9 (2).

Esposito, P. (2017). Body: A Choreographic Journey into Salvador Dalí’s Metamorphosis of Narcissus. In Harkness, R. (eds) An Unfinished Compendium of Materials. Aberdeen: University of Aberdeen.

Esposito P. (2016). Thread: Somatic Lives of a Thing. M/C Journal of Media and Communication-online. Vol. 19 (1). 

Loovers JPL and P. Esposito (2015). Introducing the Walking Threads Project. The Unfamiliar: An Anthropological Journal. Vol 5 (1-2), pp. 79-83. 

Esposito P. (2015). Stepping In and Out of the Picture: A Drawing-based Reflection on Walking Threads. The Unfamiliar: An Anthropological Journal. Vol. 5 (1–2), pp. 95-101.

Esposito P. (2013). ‘Reborn Always and Everywhere’: Butoh Dance Beyond Japanese Identity (18’ video-essay). Newsletter of Japan Anthropology Workshop -online. Spring-Summer 2013.