Annigje Van Dijk

Annigje Van Dijk 
Associated PhD Student

Graduated in Conflict studies and in Cultural Anthropology at Utrecht university, I am currently working on my PhD dissertation at KU Leuven. My work is based on ethnographic research engaging individual and shared (hi)stories of mental illness, starting from a psychiatric ward in Ouagadougou and following a number of ‘patients’ and their relatives over time. Drawing from critical phenomenology, moral anthropology and critical African psychology, I look at how people make and live their (hi)stories of mental illness, in relation to different narratives of mental illness (or ‘madness’) and the range of possibilities and vulnerabilities that are part of life in a modern African city.

My participation in MaDAf will help me to ground my work more firmly in the historical development of forms of healing and ideas about mental illness and madness in West Africa, beyond psychiatry. This will allow me to think on a deeper level about the layers of history present in the life-worlds of the people I engaged with, conceptualizing their stories and experiences as both shaped by and a reaction to them. ”

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