Naomi Adelson

Department of Anthropology

Associate Professor
Associate Dean, Research

Office: Ross Building, S900
Phone: 416-736-2100 Ext: 22650
Emailnadelson@yorku.ca

Professor Adelson is currently the Associate Dean, Research in the Faculty of Liberal Arts & Professional Studies.

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As a medical anthropologist, Naomi Adelson's theoretical interest are founded on a critical study of bodies and health as well as with her on-going work with the Cree (Iiyiyu) of northern Quebec. Her initial work lead to the publication of Being Alive Well: Health and the Politics of Cree Well-Being (University of Toronto Press, 2000) and other publications on the naturalization and medicalization of social and historical inequality, including “The Embodiment of Inequity: Health Disparities in Aboriginal Canada” (CJPH 2005) and “Discourses of Stress, Social Inequities, and the Everyday Worlds of First Nations Women in a Remote Northern Canadian Community” (Ethos 2008). Professor Adelson has conducted research in collaboration with the James Bay Cree since 1988 and is currently, in association with the Cree Board of Health, studying the internet as a health resource and the digital mediation of discourses of health.

Research Interests

Anthropology , Indigenous Peoples , Medical Anthropology

Current Research Projects

National Network for Aboriginal Mental Health Research


Project Type: Funded
Role: Co-Investigator

Funders: 
Canadian Institutes of Health Research

Ethics in Conditions of Disaster and Deprivation: Learning from Health Workers' Narratives


Project Type: Funded
Role: Co-Investigator

Funders: 
Canadian Institutes of Health Research

Models and Metaphors of Healing in the Aboriginal Context


Project Type: Funded
Role: Co-Investigator

Funders: 
Aboriginal Healing Foundation

All Publications

Books

Troubling Natural Categories: Engaging the Medical Anthropology of Margaret Lock. Naomi Adelson, Leslie Butt and Karina Kielmann, eds. McGill-Queen's University

“Being Alive Well”: Health and the Politics of Cree Well-Being. University of Toronto Press (Reprinted 2002, 2004), 141pp.

Book Chapters

"Margaret Lock and Medical Anthropology," co-authored with Leslie Butt and Karina Kielmann. In: Troubling Natural Categories: Engaging the Medical Anthropology of Margaret Lock. Naomi Adelson, Leslie Butt and Karina Kielmann, eds. McGill-Queen's University Press.

"Digital Landscapes of Health." In: Troubling Natural Categories: Engaging the Medical Anthropology of Margaret Lock. Naomi Adelson, Leslie Butt and Karina Kielmann, eds. McGill-Queen's University Press.

"Inequalities and Health Care." In: Encyclopedia of Health, Illness, Behavior and Society, William C. Cockerham, Robert Dingwall, & Stella Quah, eds. Wiley- Blackwell.

Lisa Schwartz, Matthew Hunt, Christina Sinding, Laurie Elit, Lynda Redwood-Campbell, Naomi Adelson, Sonya De Laat, Jennifer Ranford. "La déontologie des activités cliniques occidentales est-elle applicable aux contextes humanitaires a l'étranger?" In: Jeux de Miroir: Réflexions sur MSF et l'action humanitaire, Caroline Abu-Sada, ed. Antipodes: Lausanne, Switzerland, 77-92. (French version of: Western clinical health ethics: How well do they travel to humanitarian contexts?)

"Western Clinical Health Ethics: How Well do they Travel to Humanitarian Contexts?" Co-authored with: Lisa Schwartz, Matthew Hunt, Chris Sinding, Laurie Elit, Lynda Redwood-Campbell, Sonya De Laat, Jennifer Ranford. In: Dilemmas, Challenges and Ethics of Humanitarian Action: Reflections on Médicins San Frontières' Perception Project, Caroline Abu-Sada, ed. McGill-Queen's UP, 73-88

"Cree Communications Technologies Past and Present." In: Aboriginal History: A Reader, Kristin Burnett and Geoffrey Read, eds. Oxford University Press.

"Towards a Recuperation of Souls and Bodies: Community Healing and the Complex Interplay of Faith and History." In: The Mental Health of Canadian Aboriginal Peoples: Transformations of Identity and Community, Gail Valaskakis and Laurence Kirmayer, eds. Vancouver: UBC Press. Pp. 272-288

"Models and Metaphors of Healing in a Maritime First Nations Community." (with Amanda Lipinski) In: James Waldram, ed. Aboriginal Healing in Canada: Studies in Therapeutic Meaning and Practice. Montreal: Aboriginal Healing Foundation, pp. 9-30.

"The Shifting Landscape of Cree Well-Being." In: Pursuits of Happiness: Well-Being in Anthropological Perspective. Gordon Matthews and Carolina Izquierdo, eds. Oxford: Berghahn Books, pp. 109-123.

"Visible/Human/Project: Visibility and Invisibility at the Next Anatomical Frontier." In: Figuring it Out: Science, Gender, and Visual Culture. Ann B. Shteir and B. Lightman, eds. University Press of New England, 358-376.

"Appreciation of the Goose: The Relationship Between of Food, Gender and Respect amongst the Iiyiyu’ch of Great Whale, Québec." In: Gendered Intersections: An Introduction to Women’s and Gender Studies. Lesley Biggs and Pamela Downe, eds. Halifax: Fernwood Publishing, pp. 276-279.

"Cree." In: Encyclopedia of Medical Anthropology: Health and Illness in the World's Cultures. Carol R. Ember and Melvin Ember, eds. Kluwer/Plenum Press, 614-622.

Kirmayer, L. J., Boothroyd, L. J., Tanner, A., Adelson, N. & Robinson, E. "Psychological distress among the Cree of James Bay." In: P. Boss (ed.), Family Stress: Classic and Contemporary Readings. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage, 249-264. (Reprint of article.)

“Re-imagining Aboriginality: An Indigenous People’s Response to Social Suffer­ing.” In: Remaking A World: Violence, Social Suffering, and Recovery. Veena Das, Arthur Kleinman, Margaret Lock, Mamphela Ramphele, Pamela Reynolds, eds. Berkeley: University of California Press, 76-101. (Expanded version of TP article.)

“Gathering Knowledge: Reflections on the Anthropology of Identity, Aboriginality, and the Annual Gatherings in Whapmagoostui, Quebec.” In: Aboriginal Autonomy and Development in Northern Quebec and Labrador. Colin Scott, ed. Vancouver: University of British Colum­bia Press, pp. 289-303.

Journal Articles

Naomi Adelson and Michele Olding. "Narrating Aboriginality On-Line: Digital Storytelling, Identity and Healing." Journal of Community Informatics 9(2). e-Journal

Lisa Schwartz, Matthew Hunt, Chris Sinding, Laurie Elit, Lynda Redwood-Campbell, Naomi Adelson, Sonya deLaat. 'Models for Humanitarian Health Care Ethics.' Public Health Ethics 5(1): 81-90. doi: 10.1093/phe/phs005

Graham, Janice, Naomi Adelson, Sylvie Fortin, Gilles Bibeau, Margaret Lock, Sandra Hyde, Mary Ellen Macdonald, Ignace Olazabal, Peter Stephenson, and James Waldram. “The End of Medical Anthropology in Canada? A Manifesto.” University Affairs. March 2011.

Schwartz, Lisa, Sinding, Christina, Hunt, Matthew, Elit, Laurie, Redwood-Campbell, Lynda, Adelson, Naomi, Luther, Lori, Ranford, Jennifer and DeLaat, Sonya. 'Ethics in Humanitarian Aid Work: Learning From the Narratives of Humanitarian Health Workers', AJOB Primary Research, 1(3): 45-54.

“The Fit of Health: The Embodiment of an Ideal and its Implications.” In: Illness, Bodies, Contexts: Interdisciplinary Perspectives. Isabelle Lange & Zoe Norridge, eds. Oxford: Inter-disciplinary Press, 49-56

Discourses of Stress, Social Inequities, and the Everyday Worlds of First Nations Women in a Remote Northern Canadian Community. Ethos 36(3): 316-333.

“Biomedical Approach a Poor Fit with Aboriginal Views on Health and Healing.” Canadian Psychiatry Aujourd’hui. February 2007, Vol 3(1): 10.

“The Embodiment of Inequity: Health Disparities in Aboriginal Canada”. Canadian Journal of Public Health (March-April). Vol 96 (Supplement 2): S45-60.

"La Souffrance Collective: Une Analyse Anthropologique De L’Incarnation D’Injustice." (Trans. Sophie Desjardins) Revue québécoise de psychologie 26(2): 111-127.

“Re-imagining Aboriginality: An Indigenous Peoples’ Response to Social Suffer­ing.” Transcultural Psychiatry 37(1): 11-34.

“Health and the Politics of Cree Well-Being.” Health: An Interdisciplinary Journal for the Study of Health, Illness and Medicine 2(1): 5-22

Conference Proceedings

“Troubling the ‘Natural’ Category of Health: Revisiting the Embodied Discourse of Cree Well-Being.” Proceedings of the Canadian Anthropology Society Symposium, May 2007. Naomi Adelson and Pamela Wakewich, eds. Toronto: Department of Anthropology, York University. CD-ROM publication ISBN 978-1-55014-489-5.

""Troubling ‘Natural’ Categories": A Festschrift for Margaret Lock." Proceedings of the Canadian Anthropology Society Symposium, May 2007. Naomi Adelson and Pamela Wakewich, eds. Toronto: Department of Anthropology, York University. CD-ROM publication ISBN 978-1-55014-489-5.

"Introduction." In: Regeneration and Medical History: The Implications of Fictionalized Medicine for Teaching, Research and Scholarship Conference Proceedings. M. Nahman, N. Adelson, G. Feldberg, eds. Toronto: York Centre for Health Studies.

“Towards a Recuperation of Souls and Bodies: Community Healing and the Complex Interplay of Faith and History.” In: The Mental Health of Indigenous Peoples: Proceedings of the Advanced Study Institute: The Mental Health of Indigenous Peoples (McGill Summer Programme in Social and Cultural Psychiatry). L.J. Kirmayer, M.E. MacDonald, G.M. Brass, eds. Montreal: Culture and Mental Health Research Unit, Report #10.

“Social Health and Community Healing.” In: Widening the Circle: Collaborative Research for Mental Health Promotion in Native Communities, proceedings of Widening the Circle: Developing Partnerships for Aboriginal Mental Health. Caroline Oblin, Laurence J. Kirmayer, Kathryn Gill, and Elizabeth Robinson, eds. Montreal, QC: Culture and Mental Health Research Unity Report No. 8., pp. 79-83.


Professor Adelson is currently the Associate Dean, Research in the Faculty of Liberal Arts & Professional Studies.


As a medical anthropologist, Naomi Adelson's theoretical interest are founded on a critical study of bodies and health as well as with her on-going work with the Cree (Iiyiyu) of northern Quebec. Her initial work lead to the publication of Being Alive Well: Health and the Politics of Cree Well-Being (University of Toronto Press, 2000) and other publications on the naturalization and medicalization of social and historical inequality, including “The Embodiment of Inequity: Health Disparities in Aboriginal Canada” (CJPH 2005) and “Discourses of Stress, Social Inequities, and the Everyday Worlds of First Nations Women in a Remote Northern Canadian Community” (Ethos 2008). Professor Adelson has conducted research in collaboration with the James Bay Cree since 1988 and is currently, in association with the Cree Board of Health, studying the internet as a health resource and the digital mediation of discourses of health.



Research Interests:

Anthropology , Indigenous Peoples , Medical Anthropology

Current Research Projects

National Network for Aboriginal Mental Health Research


Project Type: Funded
Role: Co-Investigator

Funders: 
Canadian Institutes of Health Research

Ethics in Conditions of Disaster and Deprivation: Learning from Health Workers' Narratives


Project Type: Funded
Role: Co-Investigator

Funders: 
Canadian Institutes of Health Research

Models and Metaphors of Healing in the Aboriginal Context


Project Type: Funded
Role: Co-Investigator

Funders: 
Aboriginal Healing Foundation

All Publications

Books

Troubling Natural Categories: Engaging the Medical Anthropology of Margaret Lock. Naomi Adelson, Leslie Butt and Karina Kielmann, eds. McGill-Queen's University

“Being Alive Well”: Health and the Politics of Cree Well-Being. University of Toronto Press (Reprinted 2002, 2004), 141pp.

Book Chapters

"Margaret Lock and Medical Anthropology," co-authored with Leslie Butt and Karina Kielmann. In: Troubling Natural Categories: Engaging the Medical Anthropology of Margaret Lock. Naomi Adelson, Leslie Butt and Karina Kielmann, eds. McGill-Queen's University Press.

"Digital Landscapes of Health." In: Troubling Natural Categories: Engaging the Medical Anthropology of Margaret Lock. Naomi Adelson, Leslie Butt and Karina Kielmann, eds. McGill-Queen's University Press.

"Inequalities and Health Care." In: Encyclopedia of Health, Illness, Behavior and Society, William C. Cockerham, Robert Dingwall, & Stella Quah, eds. Wiley- Blackwell.

Lisa Schwartz, Matthew Hunt, Christina Sinding, Laurie Elit, Lynda Redwood-Campbell, Naomi Adelson, Sonya De Laat, Jennifer Ranford. "La déontologie des activités cliniques occidentales est-elle applicable aux contextes humanitaires a l'étranger?" In: Jeux de Miroir: Réflexions sur MSF et l'action humanitaire, Caroline Abu-Sada, ed. Antipodes: Lausanne, Switzerland, 77-92. (French version of: Western clinical health ethics: How well do they travel to humanitarian contexts?)

"Western Clinical Health Ethics: How Well do they Travel to Humanitarian Contexts?" Co-authored with: Lisa Schwartz, Matthew Hunt, Chris Sinding, Laurie Elit, Lynda Redwood-Campbell, Sonya De Laat, Jennifer Ranford. In: Dilemmas, Challenges and Ethics of Humanitarian Action: Reflections on Médicins San Frontières' Perception Project, Caroline Abu-Sada, ed. McGill-Queen's UP, 73-88

"Cree Communications Technologies Past and Present." In: Aboriginal History: A Reader, Kristin Burnett and Geoffrey Read, eds. Oxford University Press.

"Towards a Recuperation of Souls and Bodies: Community Healing and the Complex Interplay of Faith and History." In: The Mental Health of Canadian Aboriginal Peoples: Transformations of Identity and Community, Gail Valaskakis and Laurence Kirmayer, eds. Vancouver: UBC Press. Pp. 272-288

"Models and Metaphors of Healing in a Maritime First Nations Community." (with Amanda Lipinski) In: James Waldram, ed. Aboriginal Healing in Canada: Studies in Therapeutic Meaning and Practice. Montreal: Aboriginal Healing Foundation, pp. 9-30.

"The Shifting Landscape of Cree Well-Being." In: Pursuits of Happiness: Well-Being in Anthropological Perspective. Gordon Matthews and Carolina Izquierdo, eds. Oxford: Berghahn Books, pp. 109-123.

"Visible/Human/Project: Visibility and Invisibility at the Next Anatomical Frontier." In: Figuring it Out: Science, Gender, and Visual Culture. Ann B. Shteir and B. Lightman, eds. University Press of New England, 358-376.

"Appreciation of the Goose: The Relationship Between of Food, Gender and Respect amongst the Iiyiyu’ch of Great Whale, Québec." In: Gendered Intersections: An Introduction to Women’s and Gender Studies. Lesley Biggs and Pamela Downe, eds. Halifax: Fernwood Publishing, pp. 276-279.

"Cree." In: Encyclopedia of Medical Anthropology: Health and Illness in the World's Cultures. Carol R. Ember and Melvin Ember, eds. Kluwer/Plenum Press, 614-622.

Kirmayer, L. J., Boothroyd, L. J., Tanner, A., Adelson, N. & Robinson, E. "Psychological distress among the Cree of James Bay." In: P. Boss (ed.), Family Stress: Classic and Contemporary Readings. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage, 249-264. (Reprint of article.)

“Re-imagining Aboriginality: An Indigenous People’s Response to Social Suffer­ing.” In: Remaking A World: Violence, Social Suffering, and Recovery. Veena Das, Arthur Kleinman, Margaret Lock, Mamphela Ramphele, Pamela Reynolds, eds. Berkeley: University of California Press, 76-101. (Expanded version of TP article.)

“Gathering Knowledge: Reflections on the Anthropology of Identity, Aboriginality, and the Annual Gatherings in Whapmagoostui, Quebec.” In: Aboriginal Autonomy and Development in Northern Quebec and Labrador. Colin Scott, ed. Vancouver: University of British Colum­bia Press, pp. 289-303.

Journal Articles

Naomi Adelson and Michele Olding. "Narrating Aboriginality On-Line: Digital Storytelling, Identity and Healing." Journal of Community Informatics 9(2). e-Journal

Lisa Schwartz, Matthew Hunt, Chris Sinding, Laurie Elit, Lynda Redwood-Campbell, Naomi Adelson, Sonya deLaat. 'Models for Humanitarian Health Care Ethics.' Public Health Ethics 5(1): 81-90. doi: 10.1093/phe/phs005

Graham, Janice, Naomi Adelson, Sylvie Fortin, Gilles Bibeau, Margaret Lock, Sandra Hyde, Mary Ellen Macdonald, Ignace Olazabal, Peter Stephenson, and James Waldram. “The End of Medical Anthropology in Canada? A Manifesto.” University Affairs. March 2011.

Schwartz, Lisa, Sinding, Christina, Hunt, Matthew, Elit, Laurie, Redwood-Campbell, Lynda, Adelson, Naomi, Luther, Lori, Ranford, Jennifer and DeLaat, Sonya. 'Ethics in Humanitarian Aid Work: Learning From the Narratives of Humanitarian Health Workers', AJOB Primary Research, 1(3): 45-54.

“The Fit of Health: The Embodiment of an Ideal and its Implications.” In: Illness, Bodies, Contexts: Interdisciplinary Perspectives. Isabelle Lange & Zoe Norridge, eds. Oxford: Inter-disciplinary Press, 49-56

Discourses of Stress, Social Inequities, and the Everyday Worlds of First Nations Women in a Remote Northern Canadian Community. Ethos 36(3): 316-333.

“Biomedical Approach a Poor Fit with Aboriginal Views on Health and Healing.” Canadian Psychiatry Aujourd’hui. February 2007, Vol 3(1): 10.

“The Embodiment of Inequity: Health Disparities in Aboriginal Canada”. Canadian Journal of Public Health (March-April). Vol 96 (Supplement 2): S45-60.

"La Souffrance Collective: Une Analyse Anthropologique De L’Incarnation D’Injustice." (Trans. Sophie Desjardins) Revue québécoise de psychologie 26(2): 111-127.

“Re-imagining Aboriginality: An Indigenous Peoples’ Response to Social Suffer­ing.” Transcultural Psychiatry 37(1): 11-34.

“Health and the Politics of Cree Well-Being.” Health: An Interdisciplinary Journal for the Study of Health, Illness and Medicine 2(1): 5-22

Conference Proceedings

“Troubling the ‘Natural’ Category of Health: Revisiting the Embodied Discourse of Cree Well-Being.” Proceedings of the Canadian Anthropology Society Symposium, May 2007. Naomi Adelson and Pamela Wakewich, eds. Toronto: Department of Anthropology, York University. CD-ROM publication ISBN 978-1-55014-489-5.

""Troubling ‘Natural’ Categories": A Festschrift for Margaret Lock." Proceedings of the Canadian Anthropology Society Symposium, May 2007. Naomi Adelson and Pamela Wakewich, eds. Toronto: Department of Anthropology, York University. CD-ROM publication ISBN 978-1-55014-489-5.

"Introduction." In: Regeneration and Medical History: The Implications of Fictionalized Medicine for Teaching, Research and Scholarship Conference Proceedings. M. Nahman, N. Adelson, G. Feldberg, eds. Toronto: York Centre for Health Studies.

“Towards a Recuperation of Souls and Bodies: Community Healing and the Complex Interplay of Faith and History.” In: The Mental Health of Indigenous Peoples: Proceedings of the Advanced Study Institute: The Mental Health of Indigenous Peoples (McGill Summer Programme in Social and Cultural Psychiatry). L.J. Kirmayer, M.E. MacDonald, G.M. Brass, eds. Montreal: Culture and Mental Health Research Unit, Report #10.

“Social Health and Community Healing.” In: Widening the Circle: Collaborative Research for Mental Health Promotion in Native Communities, proceedings of Widening the Circle: Developing Partnerships for Aboriginal Mental Health. Caroline Oblin, Laurence J. Kirmayer, Kathryn Gill, and Elizabeth Robinson, eds. Montreal, QC: Culture and Mental Health Research Unity Report No. 8., pp. 79-83.