Jaleel Mashaul Plummer

Research Interests: critical psychological anthropology, madness & psychopathology, black studies, sts, black Caribbean religions, continental philosophy, Frantz Fanon, Claude Levi-Strauss, the Caribbean


Jaleel is in the Joint PhD Program in Medical Anthropology at UC Berkeley and UC San Francisco. His work is broadly interested in how politically mediated atmospheres and technological developments shape communities, psychopathology, and lived experience. With a focus on the black lived experience in Europe and the Caribbean, Jaleel conducts comparative ethnographic research on politicized landscapes, security systems, racial paranoia, and psychosis. In his dissertation project, he will research how the British government produces “hostile environments” in England and Jamaica and how those environments or atmospheres intensify securitization, racial paranoia, and communal fracturing. Jaleel will argue that these atmospheres are breeding grounds for severe mental illnesses and the presence of malevolent spirits found in black Caribbean religions. Black madness and malevolent spirit possession will function as windows for understanding how dispossession, traumatic affliction and communal fracture enable ways for thinking alterity. Jaleel's work is shaped by the clinical, political, and philosophical insights of Frantz Fanon and the anthropological insights of Claude Lévi-Strauss.