Katie Kilroy-Marac

Katie Kilroy-Marac
Associate Professor
Telephone number
Building HL 334

Katie Kilroy-Marac received her PhD from Columbia University. Her research the social history of psychiatric thought, the evolution and naturalization of psychiatric categories, and the spaces in which local understandings of illness and suffering come into contact with (Western) psychiatric models. Her first book, An Impossible Inheritance: Postcolonial Psychiatry and the Work of Memory in a West African Clinic (University of California Press, 2019) is based on fieldwork conducted at the Fann Psychiatric Clinic in Dakar, Senegal.  Her current ethnographic research examines the emergence of hoarding as mental disorder, public health hazard, and media spectacle in North America.  Following her interest in how people attempt to craft ethical lives through consumption (and its regulation) has also led her to embark upon a critical investigation of the Tiny House Movement.


  • AAA (American Anthropological Association)
  • SCA (Society for Cultural Anthropology)
  • ASA (African Studies Association)
  • AMHIG (Anthropology and Mental Heath Interest Group)
  • WARA (West African Research Association)

Teaching Interests

  • Culture and Society in Africa
  • Anthropology and Psychology
  • Culture, Mental Illness, and Psychiatry

Research Interests

Memory and history, temporality, cross-cultural and transcultural psychiatry, postcolonial transformations, middle figures, regimes of care/caretaking, experimental ethnography, archive-based art, material culture and object worlds, consumerism and consumption-critical lifestyle movements, order and disorder, houses and housing security; Senegal, Canada, France, US



2019    Kilroy-Marac, Katie. An Impossible Inheritance: Postcolonial Psychiatry and the Work of Memory in a West African Clinic. Berkeley: University of California Press.

Articles in Peer-Reviewed Journals

2018    Kilroy-Marac, Katie. “An Order of Distinction (Or, How to Tell a Collection from a Hoard)” Journal of Material Culture 23(1): 20-38.

2016    Kilroy-Marac, Katie. “A Magical Reorientation of the Modern: Professional Organizers and Thingly Care in Contemporary North America.” Cultural Anthropology       31(3):   439-458.

2014    Kilroy-Marac, Katie.  “Of Shifting Economies and Making Ends Meet: The Changing Role of the Accompagnant at the Fann Psychiatric Clinic in Dakar, Senegal.” Culture, Medicine and Psychiatry 38(3): 427-447.

2014    Kilroy-Marac, Katie.  “Speaking with Revenants: Haunting and the Ethnographic Enterprise.” Ethnography 15(2): 255-276.

2013    Kilroy-Marac, Katie.  “Nostalgic for Modernity: Reflecting on the Early Years of the Fann Psychiatric Clinic in Dakar, Senegal.” African Identities 11(4): 367-380.

Non-Refereed Publications

2014    Kilroy-Marac, Katie.  “Artifacts of Order and Disorder.”  Medicine Anthropology Theory 1(1):1-3. http://www.medanthrotheory.org/read/4062/artifacts-of-order-and-disorder

Book Reviews

2016    Kilroy-Marac, Katie. The Culture of Mental Illness and Psychiatric Practice in Africa, edited by Emmanuel Akyeampong, Allan G. Hill, and Arthur Kleinman. International Journal of African History 49(1):16-17.

2015    Kilroy-Marac, Katie.  Black Skin, White Coats: Nigerian Psychiatrists, Decolonization, and the Globalization of Psychiatry, by Matthew M. Heaton. The Journal of the History of the Behavioral Sciences 51(1):100-101.