Yuxin Peng

DPhil Student

St Antony's College

Thesis: Exploring relational efficacies with RESTORE, an Oxfordshire mental health charity (working title)

Research: My thesis explores the ‘relational efficacies’ for mental health in contribution to the anthropological discussion of the multiple efficacies. The relational efficacies here are spatial-kinaesthetic bonded. They emphasise the development and maintenance of one’s body-self’s relations with the human and non-human others. 

I ground my research in a Maussian tradition in medical anthropology, and my thesis presents ethnographic details about the body techniques and healthy spatial morphologies engaged in the hands-on activities organised in RESTORE (including gardening, woodwork, and catering). I analyse my ethnographic materials with a sensory-phenomenological lens, and elicit several key elements to generate the relational efficacies, such as diversity, rhythmicity, and empotment. 

Research interests: mental health, body techniques, space/place/landscape, medical and social anthropology


2020. ‘Spatial changes in an Oxford public asylum’, Journal of the Anthropological Society of Oxford Online 12(2): 200-23.

2018. Two book reviews, also in JASO.


MPhil Medical Anthropology, University of Oxford (2019)
BA Myanmar Language and Culture (first major) and Sociology (second), Peking University (2017)

Conference attendances:

2020. 9  Royal Anthropological Institute (RAI) Annual Conference
Chair and convener of the Health Panel No.3
Panel title: At the intersection of hope and trouble: rethinking mental health landscape

2019. 9  Royal Anthropological Institute (RAI) Ninth Annual Student Conference
Paper title: Gardening in an Oxford mental health charity

2019. 8  Royal Geographical Society (RGS-IBG) Annual International Conference
Paper title: How does the learning of horticulture techniques shape people’s perception of the self?

I am a mental health first aider (MHFA England) since December 2019.