Dr Anna Lavis MA, MSc, MRes, PhD

Dr Anna Lavis

Institute of Applied Health Research
Lecturer in Medical Anthropology
Honorary Senior Lecturer, Australian National University, Canberra

Contact details

Address
Murray Learning Centre
Institute of Applied Health Research
College of Medical and Dental Sciences
University of Birmingham
Edgbaston
Birmingham
B15 2TT
UK

Anna Lavis is a Lecturer in Medical Anthropology in the Social Studies in Medicine (SSiM) Team in the Institute of Applied Health Research. 

Her research focuses on developing approaches and solutions to the key 21st century challenge of mental ill-health. Collaborating across academic, policy and clinical interfaces, Anna has led qualitative and mixed-method studies funded by the ESRC; NIHR; NSPCR, Samaritans and Wellcome Trust. To explore lived experiences of eating disorders, self-harm, suicidality and psychosis, her work has conceptual emphases on materiality, specifically the material culture of mental health; concepts, ethics and practices of care; social media, ‘truth’ and the politics of evidence. She has particular expertise in ethnographic methods, having conducted sustained ethnographic fieldwork in online, clinical and community settings.

Anna’s most recent research has explored relationships between young people’s mental health and social media, interrogating the harms and benefits of online environments. She has an active research collaboration with Samaritans on the topic of online self-harm and suicide discussions and acts as an advisor to Facebook/Instagram in relation to eating disorders content.

Anna has presented and published across the social and medical sciences and is involved in a number of interdisciplinary research collaborations both at Birmingham and externally. 

Anna teaches on various programmes, covering topics in qualitative methods and medical sociology/anthropology, as well as undertaking doctoral supervision both at Birmingham and externally. She regularly guest lectures at UCL and accepts invitations for teaching and examining in the UK and abroad.

Qualifications

  • PhD Medical Anthropology: Goldsmiths, University of London, 2011.
  • MRes Medical Anthropology and Research Methods: Goldsmiths, University of London, 2006.
  • MSc Social Anthropology: University College London, 2003.
  • BA European and Middle Eastern Languages: University of Oxford, 2002 (MA, 2014)

Biography

Teaching

Postgraduate supervision

Dr Lavis is interested in supervising doctoral research in:

Individuals’ experiences of illness and/or treatment interventions
Women’s illness experiences
Qualitative (especially ethnographic) research into any area related to mental health
Anorexia and/or other eating disorders
Psychosis and/or treatment interventions

Research

Anna Lavis is a Lecturer in Medical Anthropology in the Social Studies in Medicine (SSiM) Team in the Institute of Applied Health Research.

Her research focuses on developing approaches and solutions to the key 21st century challenge of mental ill-health. Collaborating across academic, policy and clinical interfaces, Anna has led qualitative and mixed-method studies funded by the ESRC; NIHR; NSPCR, Samaritans and Wellcome Trust, exploring lived experiences of eating disorders, self-harm, suicidality and psychosis. She has particular expertise in ethnographic methods, having conducted sustained ethnographic fieldwork in online, clinical and community settings.

Anna's research has conceptual emphases on materiality, specifically the material culture of mental health; concepts, ethics and practices of care; social media, ‘truth’ and the politics of evidence; affect, desire and intimacy. 

She currently leads a programme of work exploring relationships between young people’s mental health and social media, interrogating the harms and benefits of online environments.  She acts as an advisor to Facebook/Instagram on online harms and her research has informed the development of the upcoming online harms legislation. 

She teaches on various programmes, covering topics in qualitative methods and medical sociology/anthropology, as well as undertaking doctoral supervision both at Birmingham and externally. She regularly guest lectures at UCL and accepts invitations for teaching and examining in the UK. She is also an honorary Senior Lecturer in the School of Archaeology and Anthropology at the Australian National University. 

 

Other activities

  • Honorary Senior Lecturer, Australian National University
  • Expert advisor to Facebook
  • Senior Series Editor, International Society for Psychological and Social Approaches to Psychosis (ISPS) Book Series, Routledge.
  • Co-founder, with Karin Eli, of the ‘Body and Being Network.’ This is a public engagement network that seeks to develop dialogues about the body among social and medical scientists and performance artists: @bodyandbeingnet 

Publications

Recent publications

Article

Eli, K & Lavis, A 2021, 'Material environments and the shaping of anorexic embodiment: towards a materialist account of eating disorders', Culture, Medicine, and Psychiatry. https://doi.org/10.1007/s11013-021-09715-8

Drury, NE, Menzies, JC, Taylor, CJ, Jones, TJ & Lavis, AC 2021, 'Understanding parents' decision-making on participation in clinical trials in children's heart surgery: a qualitative study', BMJ open, vol. 11, no. 2, e044896. https://doi.org/10.1136/bmjopen-2020-044896

Drury, N, Menzies, J, Taylor, C, Jones, T & Lavis, A 2021, 'Understanding parents’ decision-making on participation in clinical trials in children’s heart surgery: a qualitative study', BMJ open, vol. 11, no. 2, e044896. https://doi.org/:10.1136/ bmjopen-2020-04489

Lavis, A & Winter, R 2020, '#Online harms or benefits? An ethnographic analysis of the positives and negatives of peer‐support around self‐harm on social media', Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry. https://doi.org/10.1111/jcpp.13245

Lavis, A & Abbots, EJ 2020, 'Corporeal consumption materiality, agency, and resistance in body/world encounters', Cultural Politics, vol. 16, no. 3, pp. 340-345. https://doi.org/10.1215/17432197-8593536

Winter, R & Lavis, A 2019, 'Looking, but not listening? Theorizing the practice and ethics of online ethnography', Journal of Empirical Research on Human Research Ethics. https://doi.org/10.1177/1556264619857529

Winter, R & Lavis, A 2019, 'Narrative matters: two decades of support: a brief history of online self-harm content', Journal of Child and Adolescent Mental Health. https://doi.org/10.1111/camh.12356

Channa, S, Lavis, A, Connor, C, Palmer, C, Leung, N & Birchwood, M 2019, 'Overlaps and disjunctures: a cultural case study of a British Indian young woman's experiences of bulimia nervosa', Culture, Medicine and Psychiatry, vol. 43, no. 3, pp. 361-386. https://doi.org/10.1007/s11013-019-09625-w

Tucker, I & Lavis, A 2019, 'Temporalities of mental distress: digital immediacy and the meaning of 'crisis' in online support', Sociology of Health and Illness, vol. 41, no. S1, pp. 132-146. https://doi.org/10.1111/1467-9566.12943

Connor, C, Channa, S, Lavis, A, Leung, N, Parsons, N & Birchwood, M 2019, 'The Development of First-Episode Direct Self-Injurious Behavior and Association with Difficulties in Emotional Regulation in Adolescence', Suicide and Life-Threatening Behavior. https://doi.org/10.1111/sltb.12512

Radhakrishnan, M, McCrone, P, Lafortune, L, Everard, L, Fowler, D, Amos, T, Freemantle, N, Singh, SP, Marshall, M, Sharma, V, Lavis, A, Jones, PB & Birchwood, M 2018, 'Cost-effectiveness of early intervention services for psychosis and fidelity to national policy implementation guidance', Early Intervention in Psychiatry, vol. 12, no. 4, pp. 747-756. https://doi.org/10.1111/eip.12481

Gee, B, Hodgekins, J, Lavis, A, Notley, C, Birchwood, M, Everard, L, Freemantle, N, Jones, PB, Singh, SP, Amos, T, Marshall, M, Sharma, V, Smith, J & Fowler, D 2018, 'Lived Experiences of Negative Symptoms in First-Episode Psychosis: A Qualitative Secondary Analysis ', Early Intervention in Psychiatry. https://doi.org/10.1111/eip.12558

Lavis, A 2018, 'Not eating or tasting other ways to live: a qualitative analysis of ‘living through’ and desiring to maintain anorexia', Transcultural Psychiatry, vol. 55, no. 4, pp. 454-474. https://doi.org/10.1177/1363461518785796

Fowler, D, Hodgekins, J, French, P, Marshall, M, Freemantle, N, McCrone, P, Everard, L, Lavis, A, Jones, PB, Amos, T, Singh, S, Sharma, V & Birchwood, M 2018, 'Social recovery therapy in combination with early intervention services for enhancement of social recovery in patients with first-episode psychosis (SUPEREDEN3): a single-blind, randomised controlled trial', The Lancet Psychiatry, vol. 5, no. 1, pp. 41-50. https://doi.org/10.1016/S2215-0366(17)30476-5

Palmer, C, Connor, C, Channa, S, Lavis, A, Leung, N, Parsons, N & Birchwood, M 2018, 'The development of first episode direct self-injurious behaviour and association with difficulties in emotional regulation in adolescence', Suicide and Life-Threatening Behaviour. https://doi.org/10.1111/sltb.12512

View all publications in research portal