Associate Professor of Anthropology; Director of Undergraduate Studies and Departmental Advisor for Anthropology
Nicolas Langlitz is an anthropologist and historian of science studying epistemic cultures of mind and life sciences, especially neuroscience, psychopharmacology, and primatology. He received doctoral degrees both in medical anthropology (Berkeley) and history of medicine (Berlin). He was trained as a physician before conducting ethnographic fieldwork in two neuropsychopharmacology laboratories in Switzerland and California on the revival of psychedelic research since the 1990s. At the intersection of the anthropology of science and religion, the book Neuropsychedelia (University of California Press, 2012) is about the struggle to find a place for the mystical under conditions of late-modern materialism. Subsequently, he studied the interdisciplinary exchange between brain researchers and philosophers of mind, especially in the context of neuroscientific dream research. A project on how culture became an object of scientific research in Euro-American and Japanese primatology is nearing completion and new research on how behavioral scientists study morality is under way. Before becoming an anthropologist, Langlitz also published a book titled Die Zeit der Psychoanalyse (Suhrkamp, 2005) on the psychoanalyst Jacques Lacan’s clinical practice of variable-length sessions. More generally, he is interested in the role of science in different forms of life and in how experiments and fieldwork have been and could be used to approach philosophical questions. For more information, please visit www.nicolaslanglitz.de.
Ph.D. in Medical Anthropology at University of California, Berkeley (2007)
Ph.D. in History of Medicine, Humboldt Universität / Freie Universität Berlin (2004)
M.D., Medicine, Charité Universitätsmedizin Berlin (2004)
M.A., Philosophy, Freie Universität Berlin (2004)
Reviews editor of BioSocieties (2010-2019)
Journal Articles and Book Chapters
“Psychedelic science as cosmic play, psychedelic humanities as perennial polemics? Or why we are still fighting over Max Weber’s Science as a Vocation.” Journal of Classical Sociology (2019; online first), 1-15.
“Salvage and Self-loathing: Cultural Primatology and the Spiritual Malaise of the Anthropocene.” Anthropology Today 34:6 (2018), 16-20.
"Primatology of Science: On the Birth of Actor-Network Theory from Baboon Field Observations.” Theory, Culture & Society (2017)
Book Reviews (recent)
Working Papers (recent)
The Brain Doping Debate
Anthropology and history of science, neuroscience, psychopharmacology, primatology, comparative psychology, mind sciences, philosophy of mind, philosophy of science, drug cultures, evolutionary anthropology, primatology
Collaborative Senior Project
Collaborative Senior Project (Spring 2020)
Ind Senior Project
Ind Senior Project (Spring 2020)
Independent Study (Spring 2020)
PhD Proseminar I
Science & Society