Joseph P. Gone, PhD

Professor of Anthropology, Harvard University; Professor of Global Health and Social Medicine, Harvard Medical School; Faculty Director, Harvard University Native American Program

Joseph P. Gone is Professor in the Faculty of Arts and Sciences (Anthropology) and the Faculty of Medicine (Global Health and Social Medicine) at Harvard University. As an interdisciplinary social scientist with both theoretical and applied interests, Professor Gone has collaborated for 25 years with American Indian and other Indigenous communities to rethink community-based mental health services and to harness traditional culture and spirituality for advancing indigenous well-being. He does so from the perspective of a scholar who is trained in health service psychology, inspired by anthropology-style interpretive analysis, and committed to participatory research strategies. Examples of Professor Gone’s projects include comparisons of Indigenous cultural psychologies with the logics of the mental health professions, critical analysis of the concept of Indigenous historical trauma, collaborative development of the Blackfeet Culture Camp for community-based treatment of addiction, and commissioned formulation of the Urban American Indian Traditional Spirituality Program for orienting urban Indigenous peoples to traditional spiritual practices.

Even while undertaking unpredictable community-based partnerships, Professor Gone has published more than 75 scientific articles and chapters, and received recognition in his fields through several fellowships and career awards, including a year-long residency at the Center for Advanced Study in the Behavioral Sciences at Stanford University. A graduate of Harvard College and the University of Illinois, he also trained at Dartmouth College and McLean Hospital/Harvard Medical School. Professor Gone is currently a Fellow of the Association for Psychological Science, and of seven divisions of the American Psychological Association. An enrolled member of the Aaniiih-Gros Ventre tribal nation of Montana, he also served briefly as the Chief Administrative Officer for the Fort Belknap Indian reservation. In 2014, he was awarded a Guggenheim Fellowship. He is currently (through 2020) a Fellow in the Interdisciplinary Research Leaders Program of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation.

In sum, Professor Gone’s investigations have entailed intimate familiarity with modern indigenous lives and settings, open-ended investigation of local and emergent indigenous perspectives, adaptable presentation of research findings for both academic and community constituencies, and an intrepid dedication to unsettling the orthodoxies cherished by any of his audiences. Throughout his career, he has sought to merge applied community engagement and illuminating scholarly analysis, and to integrate the dominant approaches of the behavioral sciences with the enduring insights of the human sciences. The resulting contributions speak to pressing issues in cultural and professional psychology, medical and psychological anthropology, social psychiatry and community mental health, indigenous studies, human development, and the medical humanities.

Professor Gone seeks to mentor students with explicit interests in contributing relevant and useful knowledge for Indigenous communities in the USA and Canada, as well as students dedicated to analyzing and complicating the intersections between culture, coloniality, and mental health.