Nicholas Bartlett

Nick Bartlett is Assistant Professor in Contemporary Chinese Culture and Society. He holds a B.A. from Pomona College, a Master of International Affairs from Columbia University, and a Ph.D. from the University of California, Berkeley and San Francisco. Before coming to Barnard, he lectured in the anthropology departments at UCLA and the University of Southern California while pursuing training at the New Center of Psychoanalysis.

Growing out of previous public health activities, his first research project offers a phenomenological exploration of long-term heroin users’ recovery from addiction in a mining community in southwest China. A book manuscript under preparation explores entrepreneurialism, state labor as drug treatment, social rituals, and civil society through the experiences of a cohort who imagine individual and collective futures to guide their “return to society.”

His second research project will investigate the reception of Freud in China. In preparation, he is studying psychoanalysis and participating in videoconferencing exchanges with Chinese psychotherapists.

Academic Focus: 

Medical and psychological anthropology, addiction and recovery, civil society, mental health service provision, psychoanalysis


"Idling in Mao's shadow: Heroin addiction and the contested therapeutic value of socialist traditions of laboring," Accepted, Culture, Medicine and Psychiatry. Forthcoming.

“The ones who struck out: Entrepreneurialism, Heroin addiction, and historical obsolescence in Reform era China,” Accepted, positions: asia critique. Forthcoming.

Nicholas Bartlett, William Garriott, Eugene Raikhel. “What’s in the ‘treatment gap’? Ethnographic perspectives on addiction and global mental health from China, Russia and the United States.” Medical Anthropology, 2014 33(6), 457-477.

Kumi Smith, Nicholas Bartlett, Wang Ning. “The harm reduction paradox: Comparing China’s policies on syringe exchange and methadone maintenance.” International Journal of Drug Policy, 2012, 23(4), 327-332.

Nicholas Bartlett, Xin Deming, Zhang Hong, Baming Huang. “A qualitative evaluation of a peer-implemented overdose response pilot project in Gejiu, China.” International Journal of Drug Policy, 2011, 22(4), 301-305.

Office Hours: 

Fall 2016: Tuesdays from 1-3pm, Wednesdays 10-11am