Nicholas Allyn Bartlett

Nicholas Allyn Bartlett

Research Interest

Medical and psychological anthropology, addiction and recovery, civil society, mental health service provision, psychoanalysis

Nick Bartlett is Assistant Professor in Contemporary Chinese Culture and Society. He holds a BA from Pomona College, a Master of International Affairs from Columbia University, and a Ph. from the University of California, Berkeley and San Francisco. Before coming to Barnard, he lectured in the anthropology departments at UCLA and the University of Southern California while pursuing training at the New Center for Psychoanalysis. His first research project offers a phenomenological exploration of long-term heroin users’ recovery from addiction in a mining community in southwest China. The book explores entrepreneurialism, state labor as drug treatment, social rituals, and civil society through the experiences of a cohort whose efforts to “return to society” are inseparable from re-imagining their lives in an unfamiliar historical present. His second research project will investigate the reception of Freud in China. In preparation, he is studying psychoanalysis and participating in group relations conferences and video exchanges with Chinese psychotherapists.



Bartlett, Nicholas. Recovering Histories: Life and Labor after Heroin in Reform era China. Under contract. University of California Press with Studies of the Weatherhead East Asian Institute.


Bartlett, Nicholas. “The Ones Who Struck Out: Entrepreneurialism, Heroin Addiction, and Historical Obsolescence in Reform Era China.”  positions: asia critique 26 no. 3 (2018): 423-449.

Bartlett, Nicholas. “Idling in Mao’s Shadow: Heroin Addiction and the Contested Therapeutic Value of Socialist Traditions of Laboring.” Culture, Medicine and Psychiatry 42 no. 1 (2018): 49-68.

Bartlett, Nicholas. “On knowing addiction: A review essay of works by Hansen, Raikhel, and Shukla.” Political and Legal Anthropology Review (2018).

Bartlett, Nicholas, Eugene Raikhel, and William Garriott. “What’s in the ‘treatment gap’? Ethnographic Perspectives on Addiction and Global Mental Health from China, Russia and the United States.” Medical Anthropology 33 no. 6 (2014): 457-77.