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Ellen Badone



Professor,
Department of Anthropology, Department of Religious Studies
905.525.9140 ext.23395
badone@mcmaster.ca

Over the past three decades, Dr. Badone’s research has centred on experiences of social, emotional and bodily crisis as well as healing.  Her initial fieldwork, in 1983-84, in Brittany, France, focused on interpretations of death and dying.  She was particularly interested in changes in Breton responses to death that had accompanied social change in this region since 1945.  Dr. Badone’s research on death led her in two directions: anthropology of religion and medical anthropology. In the late 1980s, Dr. Badone worked on the relationships between alternative healing and the biomedical system in Brittany.  In addition, she edited a volume of papers on the tensions between Catholic orthodoxy and popular definitions of religion in Europe.  Her dual focus on religion and healing inspired Dr. Badone to work on pilgrimage. 

In the 1990s, she did fieldwork on local pilgrimages in Brittany and on a Marian apparition shrine.  From 2005-07, she was president of the Society for the Anthropology of Religion, a sub-section of the American Anthropological Association. In the summer of 2012, she participated in the Tro Breiz, a walking pilgrimage in Brittany that links the medieval cathedral towns of the region.  Dr. Badone’s current work deals with responses to existential crises evoked through encounters with autism spectrum disorders and mental illness.

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