Neurological Imaginaries

Photo credit: Neurone development, artwork by Stephen Magrath. Credit: Stephen Magrath.

My newest project, Neurological Imaginaries bridges my interest in both arts-based ethnography and medical sciences as an experimental ethnography that encompasses non-textual forms, creative nonfiction, and affect theory to explore traumatic brain injuries and memory disturbances.

This research is funded by a Wenner-Gren Foundation for Anthropological Research award and a Social Science and Humanities Research Council IDG and IG grants. 

Other funding: 

Situated Neurology: An ethnographic study of neurology in Kenya, Dahdaleh Institute Seed Grant for Critical Social Science Perspectives in Global Health Research, $5000. (May 2021)

Multimodal work

Connections: Bringing Neuroscience and Art together, Online Exhibit and Ebook, with Michelle Charette and Helen Charette

Sensate Memories, Multimodal Ethnography Roundtable, August 13, 2020.

Publications / Papers

Manuscript in Process. with Alexandrine Boudreault-Fournier, Havana Syndrome: Political imagination and Sonic Fictions. 

M. Charette, L. Lima, and D. Elliott, 2022 Sonic stories, sensory ethnography, and listening with an injured mind, Multimodality and Society 2(2): TBD


2022. The Memory Multiverse: Existential ruptures, familiar faces and injured minds, Special Issue – Madness, edited by Baptiste Moutaud, Terrain, March 2022.

2022 La Mémoire Multivers: Ruptures Existentielles, Visages Familiers et Lēsion Cérébrale. Terrain 76:113-129.

with Michelle Charette, A magic encyclopaedia: Time, memory and trauma, Uncommon Senses III, Sensory Ethnography Conference, Montreal, May 6-9, 2021.

Sonic art, brain injury, and intimate ethnography: A review of Reassembled, Slightly AskewAnthropologica 63(1), 2021. 

Staying in the field: Living arrangements, violence, and the female anthropologist. In Fieldwork Stories: Experiences, Affect, and the Lessons of Anthropology in the 21stCentury, edited by Ida Fadzillah and Will Leggett. Lexington Press (2021).

Neurological Disturbances and Time Travel. Catalyst: Feminism, Theory, Technoscience (2019).

Art, Neuroscience and Ethnography, Platypus, CASTAC, October 2, 2018

Affective Science, or the Sad Brain, Imaginings Series - Affect, Centre for Imaginative Ethnography, 2014

Neurological disturbances and time travel, Canadian Anthropology Society (CASCA) annual meeting, Santiago, Cuba, May 17, 2018


A forgetful ethnography, Colleex Workshop, Collaboratory for Ethnographic Experimentation, Lisbon, Portugal, July 13-15, 2017


An Ethnography of Invisibility: Neuro-Medicine and Felt Theory, Affective Evidence, AAA, Minneapolis, November 17, 2017


An ethnography of invisibility? African Neuroscience, memory and feeling, Technoscience Salon, York University / University of Toronto, October 10, 2014



“Neurological Imaginaries” Series seeks to bring neuroscientists, anthropologists, and artists together in an interdisciplinary conversation to discuss epistemological tensions within traumatic brain injury care.