Rebecca J. Lester

Associate Professor of Anthropology at Washington University in Saint Louis

Lester, Rebecca J.  Famished: Eating Disorders and Failed Care in America.  Berkeley, CA: University of California Press, 2019.

Lester, Rebecca J. "Self-governance, Psychotherapy, and the Subject of Managed Care: Internal Family Systems Therapy and the Multiple Self in a US Eating-disorders Treatment Center." American Ethnologist44, no. 1 (2017): 23-35.

 Lester, Rebecca J. "Ground Zero: Ontology, Recognition, and the Elusiveness of Care in American Eating Disorders Treatment." Transcultural Psychiatry55, no. 4 (2016): 516-33.

Lester, Rebecca J. and Eileen Anderson-Fye. "Fat Matters: Capital, Markets, and Morality." In Fat Planet: Obesity, Culture, and Symbolic Body Capital, edited by Eileen Anderson-Fye and Alex Brewis, 193-204. Santa Fe, NM: School for Advanced Research Press, 2016.

Myers, Neely, Rebecca J. Lester, and Kim Hopper. "Reflections on the Anthropology of Public Psychiatry: The Potential and Limitations of Transdisciplinary Work.Transcultural Psychiatry53, no. 4 (2016): 419-26.

Lester, Rebecca J.  “Eating Disorders.”  In International Encyclopedia of Social and Behavioral Sciences, 2nd edition, edited by James D. Wright, 822-828.  Cambridge, MA: Elsevier, 2015.

Lester, Rebecca J.  “Health as Moral Failing: Medication Restriction among Women with Eating Disorders.” Anthropology and Medicine21, no 2 (2014): 241-250.

Lester, Rebecca J.  ”Back from the Edge of Existence: A Critical Anthropology of Trauma.” Transcultural Psychiatry50, no. 5 (2013):753-762.

Lester, Rebecca J.  “Subjectivity.”  In Encyclopedia of Theory in Social and Cultural Anthropology, edited by R. Jon McGee and Richard L. Warms,. 834-837.New York: SAGE, 2013.

Lester, Rebecca J. "Lessons from the Borderline: Anthropology, Psychiatry, and the Risks of Being Human." Feminism & Psychology23, no. 1 (2013): 70-77.

Lester, Rebecca J.  “Self-Mutilation and Excoriation.” In Encyclopedia of Body Image and Appearance, edited by Thomas Cash, 724-729.  Cambridge, MA: Elsevier. 2012.

Lester, Rebecca J. "How Do I Code for Black Fingernail Polish? Finding the Missing Adolescent in Managed Mental Health Care." Ethos39, no. 4 (2011): 481-96.

Lester, Rebecca J. "Brokering Authenticity: Borderline Personality Disorder and the Ethics of Care in an American Eating Disorders Clinic." Current Anthropology50, no. 3 (2009): 281-302. Winner of the Stirling Prize for Best Published Work in Psychological Anthropology 

Lester, Rebecca J. "Anxious Bliss: A Case Study of Dissociation in a Mexican Nun." Transcultural Psychiatry45, no. 1 (2008): 56-78.  

Lester, Rebecca J. "Critical Therapeutics: Cultural Politics and Clinical Reality in Two Eating Disorder Treatment Centers." Medical Anthropology Quarterly21, no. 4 (2007): 369-87.

Cabassa, Leopoldo J., Rebecca J. Lester, and Luis H. Zayas. "“It’s Like Being in a Labyrinth:” Hispanic Immigrants’ Perceptions of Depression and Attitudes Toward Treatments." Journal of Immigrant and Minority Health9, no. 1 (2006): 1-16.

Lester, Rebecca J. Jesus in Our Wombs Embodying Modernity in a Mexican Convent. Berkeley, CA: University of California Press, 2005. Winner of the Boyer Prize for Contributions to Psychodynamic and Psychoanalytic Anthropology.

Zayas, Luis H., Rebecca J. Lester, Leopoldo J. Cabassa, and Lisa R. Fortuna. "Why Do So Many Latina Teens Attempt Suicide? A Conceptual Model for Research." American Journal of Orthopsychiatry75, no. 2 (2005): 275-87

Lester, Rebecca J. "Commentary: Eating Disorders and the Problem of ‘Culture’ in Acculturation." Culture, Medicine and Psychiatry28, no. 4 (2004): 607-15.

Lester, Rebecca J. "The Immediacy of Eternity: Time and Transformation in a Roman Catholic Convent." Religion33, no. 3 (2003): 201-19.

Lester, Rebecca J.  “Like a Natural Woman: Celibacy and the Embodied Self in Anorexia Nervosa.”  In Celibacy, Culture, and Society: The Anthropology of Sexual Abstinence, edited by  Elisa J. Sobo and Sandra Bell, 197-213.  Madison, WI: University of Wisconsin Press, 2000.

Lester, Rebecca J.  “Let Go and Let God: Religion and the Politics of Surrender in Overeaters Anonymous.”  In Interpreting Weight: The Social Management of Fatness and Thinness, edited by Jeffery Sobal and Donna Maurer, 139-164. Hawthorne, NY: Aldine de Gruyter, 1999.

Lester, Rebecca J. "The (dis)embodied Self in Anorexia Nervosa." Social Science & Medicine44, no. 4 (1997): 479-89.

Lester, Rebecca J. "Embodied Voices: Women’s Food Asceticism and the Negotiation of Identity." Ethos23, no. 2 (1995): 187-222.