Linda Barnes, PhD


Linda Barnes


Family Medicine

Academic Rank and Title

Medical Anthropologist, Historian, Religion Scholar


Linda L. Barnes, PhD, MTS, MA, is a medical anthropologist, historian, and religion scholar whose work bridges these disciplines. She received her PhD in the comparative study of world religions, and in medical anthropology, at Harvard University (1995). Jointly appointed as an Associate Professor in the Departments of Family Medicine at Boston University School of Medicine, and the Division of Religious and Theological Studies at Boston University, she directs the M.A. Program in Medical Anthropology and Cross-Cultural Practice through BUSM’s Division of Graduate Medical Sciences . The program includes a track in the study of religions, medicines, and healing. She also directs the Boston Healing Landscape Project , which integrates the study of cultural, therapeutic, and religious pluralism in the United States, with a focus on culturally and religiously grounded practies among minority and immigrant patient communities in Boston. Dr. Barnes is currently working on a cultural history of Chinese medicine and healing traditions in the U.S. from 1849 to the present, for which she has interviewed practitioners from a full range of cultural backgrounds, throughout the country.

Her work has been published in leading medical anthropology journals; her books include (Harvard, 2005) and (Oxford, 2004).

Outlook on Diversity

It is the essence of our lives–to be treasured, supported, and defended in all its forms.

Academic Interests

As someone crossed trained in comparative religious studies and in medical anthropology, my work integrates the study of religious, cultural, and therapeutic pluralism, particularly as it occurs in Boston. I have also explored and written about these same themes through the study of intercultural exchange between practitioners of Chinese healing traditions and Western settings.

Extracurricular Interests

Handcrafts (knitting, sewing and quilting, embroidery, beading and other jewelry work, vintage clothes hunting)