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Badone Ellen, Professor


Research & Supervisory Interests

Over the past three decades, my research has centred on experiences of social, emotional and bodily crisis as well as healing.  My initial fieldwork, in 1983-84, in Brittany, France, focused on interpretations of death and dying.  I was particularly interested in changes in Breton responses to death that had accompanied social change in this region since 1945.  My research on death led me in two directions: anthropology of religion and medical anthropology. In the late 1980s, I worked on the relationships between alternative healing and the biomedical system in Brittany.  In addition, I edited a volume of papers on the tensions between Catholic orthodoxy and popular definitions of religion in Europe.  My dual focus on religion and healing inspired me to work on pilgrimage.  In the 1990s, I did fieldwork on local pilgrimages in Brittany and on a Marian apparition shrine.  More recently, I worked at Les Saintes-Maries de-la-Mer in southern France, a shrine that is particularly important for Roma pilgrims. From 2005-07, I was president of the Society for the Anthropology of Religion, a sub-section of the American Anthropological Association. In the summer of 2012, I participated in the Tro Breiz, a walking pilgrimage in Brittany that links the medieval cathedral towns of the region.  Although I am still passionately interested in pilgrimage and other religious quests to understand the world, my current work deals with responses to existential crises evoked through encounters with autism spectrum disorders and mental illness.


  • University of California, Berkeley, Ph.D., 1985


Search course offerings in Anthropology


Courses (2018-2019)


  • ANTHROP 2R03 - Religion, Magic and Witchcraft
  • ANTHROP 3P03 - Research Methods in Cultural Anthropology 


Courses (2017-2018)   


  • Religious Studies 2SP3/Anthrop 3EE3 - Sport and/as Religion
  • ANTHROP 3P03 - Research Methods in Cultural Anthropology


  • ANTHROP 2R03 - Religion, Magic and Witchcraft
  • ANTHROP 796 - Ritual and Symbolic Healing






Edited Volumes

Journal Articles 

Book Chapters

  • “The Rosary as a Meditation on Death at a Marian Apparition Shrine,” In The Anthropology of Catholicism: A Reader. Kristin Norget, Valentina Napolitano and Maya Mayblin eds. Pp. 201-210. Berkeley and Los Angeles: University of California Press, 2017.

  • Eat, Pray, Love and Tourism Imaginaries.” In Constructions of Self and Other in Yoga, Travel and Tourism: A Journey to Elsewhere, Lori G. Beaman and Sonia Sikka, eds. Pp. 37-43. New York: Palgrave Macmillan, 2016.

  • "Conventional and Unconventional Pilgrimages: Conceptualizing Sacred Travel in the Twenty-First Century." Pages 7-31 in Redefining Pilgrimage: New Perspectives on Historical and Contemporary Pilgrimages. Edited by Anton Pazos. Farnham, UK: Ashgate, 2014.

  • "Reflections on Death, Religion, Identity and the Anthropology of Religion." Pages 425-443 in A Companion to the Anthropology of Religion. Edited by Janice Boddy and Michael Lambek. Hoboken, NJ: John Wiley and Sons, 2013.

  • "Pardons, Pilgrimage and the (Re-)construction of Identities in Brittany." Pages 145-161 in Gender, Nation and Religion in European Pilgrimage. Edited by Willy Jansen and Catrien Notermans. Ashgate: Farnham, Surrey, UK, 2012.