Raphaëlle Rabanes, new Assistant Professor in Anthropology of Race, Racism and Health

Photo of Raphaëlle Rabanes (left) and Sam Dubal (right) in the Berkeley Hills
Photo in tribute of Sam Dubal. Raphaëlle Rabanes (left) and Sam Dubal (right) were classmates and friends at UC Berkeley before coming to the University of Washington.

In September 2020, we welcomed Raphaëlle Rabanes as new faculty in sociocultural anthropology. Dr. Rabanes is a medical anthropologist who works across the fields of Black Studies, Caribbean Studies, and Disability Studies. She was trained in the joint Medical Anthropology PhD program at the University of California Berkeley and University of California San Francisco and in the Black Studies Pre-Doctoral Fellow at the University of California Santa Barbara. She also previously practiced as a clinical psychologist in several French hospitals, with degrees from the University of Paris Diderot. Her research and teaching bring together anthropological approaches to the study of health, race, embodiment, and the long shadow of history in the African Diaspora.

Dr. Rabanes has been conducting ethnographic research in French Caribbean Guadeloupe since 2012, supported by grants from the Wenner-Gren Foundation, the University of California Interdisciplinary Psychoanalytic Consortium and the University of California Humanities Research Institute Medicine and Humanities Scholarship. Her current book manuscript — Postcolonial Repair: Memory, Embodiment, and Therapeutics in the French Caribbean — explores how Guadeloupeans address the long aftermath of slavery and colonialism as well as ongoing entanglements with France in their everyday lives. She conducted ethnographic work with Guadeloupean working in neurological readaptation, contemporary dance, and historical activism. In these different spaces, Dr. Rabanes examines movements of personal and collective repair through which Afro-descendant Guadeloupeans address structural inequities.

Dr. Rabanes’ courses examine embodiment, care, and racialization in medical spaces and in societies at large. She draws attention to practices of resistance against structural racism, both in everyday life and in social movements. In Autumn 2021, she will offer her “Ethnography and the Black Diasporas” and “Reading Ethnography” courses once again, before launching a new senior seminar titled, “Blackness, Health and Medicine in the United States,” in Winter 2022.