UPDATE_Culture-bound syndromes in Popular Culture/Call for Chapters_ROUTLEDGE

deadline for submissions: 
October 15, 2022
full name / name of organization: 
Titu Maiorescu University, Bucharest, Romania

UPDATE 16 May: The project is secured. We are hoping to improve the table of contents by adding one final contribution dedicated to culture-bound syndromes from the Arab worldthe Middle East, Africa or indigenous communities.

We welcome chapter proposals on ANY cultural syndromes and their representations in popular culture BUT ONLY for these regions. For example:

- the evil eye (Al-Ayn, in Arabic), Djinnati

- Zar possession, brain fag, boufée delirante

- mental illnesses that are often attributed to evil spirits, also known as “jinns” etc.

The call remains open until we receive a suitable contribution. 

* We already have chapters covering China, Japan, South Korea, Argentina, the USA, Wendigo Psychosis, Nigeria, Turkey, Malaysia, Thailand, and India.


Dear colleagues,

You are invited to submit an abstract for the upcoming edited collection Culture-bound syndromes in Popular Culture. The volume aims to provide in-depth and analytical insight into the representations of cultural imagery and narratives of various culture-bound syndromes through the lens of global and national popular culture, covering movies, television, literature, visual arts, fashion, festivals, popular music, and graphic novels.

What does a culture-bound syndrome mean? The concept has come to define a pattern of symptoms (mental, physical, and relational) experienced only by members of a specific cultural group and recognized as a disorder by members of those groups.

"Culture-bound Syndromes in Popular Culture" takes its readers on a journey across (popular) cultures and introduces them to an entirely new subfield of studies, at the conjunction of medical anthropology and popular culture, focusing on folk illnesses.

Thus, this book covers a broad range of case studies, subjects, texts, and cultural practices that lie at the intersection of folk illnesses and cultural studies and include national, transnational, and international media representations, with an accent on the reception and interpretation of the phenomenon from the perspective of its original space.

We warmly invite established and emerging scholars specializing in all areas of media and cultural studies, anthropology, sociology, social/cultural geography, and other relevant research fields to propose a book chapter on an individual culture-bound syndrome and its representations in popular culture. Both single and multiple-authored works will be considered. All work should be original and previously unpublished.

We are also very interested in hearing open proposals for possible chapters about other cultural syndromes from any other country if the Table of Contents strikes you as improvable in any way. 

Please make sure to refer to a specific cultural syndrome (or more) in your abstract and title. 

Chapters might explore but are not limited to:

SECTION 1 East Asia and India - Covered.

\  Zou huo ru mo (China) Already taken!

\  Dhat syndrome (India)

\  Hikikomori (Japan) Already taken!

\  Taijin Kyofusho (Japan) Already taken!

\  Hwabyeong (South Korea) Already taken!

\  Pa-leng (Taiwan)

SECTION 2 Southeast Asia - Covered

\  Lanti (Philippines)

\  Latah (Indonesia, Malaysia)

\  Amok (Malaysia) 

\  Koro (Singapore)

SECTION 3 Latin America and Native American culture + the indigenous communities Covered

\  Locura

\  Mal de pelea

\  Nervios Already taken!

\  Susto

\  Saladera (Peruvian Amazon)

\  Windigo Psychosis (Native American) Already taken!

SECTION 4 Africa and the Middle East - OPEN. very interested in covering the Middle East/the Arab world. Please come with ideas and new topics.

\  Zar (Israel, Ethiopia)

\  Ufufuyane, Saka (Kenya)

\  Voodoo death Already taken!

Routledge has expressed keen interest in the volume for their Research in Cultural and Media Studies Series.


Key dates

Abstract submission deadline: please contact the editor to check the availability of your topic

Full chapter submission (max 8000 words): 1 November 2022

Publication: January 2023


Please send in a working title, abstracts of max 500 words, and a brief biographical note of 150 words to:


Please feel free to contact the volume’s editor (Irina Pelea) with any questions or queries. I look forward to receiving your abstracts.