School of Social and Political Science

Patricia Mundelius

Job Title

PhD Student

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Research interests

Research interests

  • Complementary and alternative medicines
  • Sowa Rigpa (Tibetan medicine)
  • Transnationalism and health travel



I am a doctoral cadidate in Social Anthropology funded by the Wellcome Trust. My academic background is in anthropology and human geography. During my B.A. and M.A. research at Goethe-University Frankfurt, I examined the impacts of health tourism and commercialisation on Sowa Rigpa (Tibetan medical) practice, identities, and morality in Kathmandu, Nepal. My studies were funded by the Deutschlandstipendium as well as the DAAD Promos Scholarship.

Prior to my doctoral studies, I worked for several years as a peer tutor and later as a lecturer and research fellow for the Academic Writing Centre at Goethe University. I have extensive experience in supporting students in academic writing processes, in the design and implementation of university-wide tutor trainings and workshops, and in team leadership.


My PhD research explores transformations of Sowa Rigpa practice, identities and representations in transnational practice contexts and involves ethnographic fieldwork in multiple locations in Nepal, India and European countries. The focus is on transnational healing travels, online practices and smallscale business collaborations between South Asian practitioners and European companies. The aim is to map and follow such transnational therapeutic assemblages in order to determine and critically question the possibilities and limitations of Sowa Rigpa practices across borders.

In particular, I ask

  • What kind of networks exist between South Asian Sowa Rigpa and Europe?
  • What influence do differing cultural backgrounds have on the perception and representation of Sowa Rigpa and how is a Sowa Rigpa epistemology understood in an international context?
  • How do patients and doctors benefit from transnational practices and what impact do transnational practices have on the efficacy of Sowa Rigpa medical treatments?

I am supervised by Professor Ian Harper and Dr Jeevan Sharma.

For more information, please visit my blog or get in touch with me.

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