Talin Piera

PhD Student in anthropology, EHESS and University of Amsterdam

 Contact: piera.talin(at)cnrs.fr


Dissertation title: The entwined efficacy of ayahuasca : an ethnographic study of the circulation of neotraditional urban healing rituals

Under the supervision of Emilia Sanabria

Piera Talin is PhD candidate in anthropology in the ERC Starting Grant Program Healing Encounters, headed by Emilia Sanabria at Cermes3 (Medicine, Science, Health & Society Research Centre). She is undertaking this work as a joint PhD between EHESS (École des Hautes Études en ScienceS Sociales) and the Amsterdam Institute for Social Sciences Research (AISSR) at the University of Amsterdam. Her PhD project focuses on the circulation of new forms of ayahuasca ritual healing between Brazil and Europe.

She trained in Italy with a Master’s Degree in Cultural Anthropology, Ethnology and Ethnolinguistics at Cà Foscari University in Venice in collaboration with the Federal University of Santa Catarina, Florianópolis, Brazil, with a thesis on ayahuasca religious communities. She also holds a Bachelor’s degree in Theories and Practices of Anthropology at La Sapienza University of Rome where she undertook a research on ethno-psychiatry.

Piera has also been part of the team working on the ERC Advanced Grant Program "ChemicalYouth: What chemicals do for youths in their everyday lives" (University of Amsterdam) since 2014. She conducted ethnographies in the Amazon and Italy, which lead to the publication of the article written with Emilia Sanabria – “Ayahuasca’s entwined efficacy: An ethnographic study of ritual healing from ‘addiction.’”

Piera’s current research focuses on health, care and the body, with a particular interest in ritual healing involving plants, the body and non-humans. She is interested in the history of medicine and transcultural and ethno-psychiatry with a particular focus on addiction, trauma and mental health at the crossroads between religion and medicine. More recently Piera has started to look into the weavings between art, ritual healing, medicine and drugs.

Piera is also a trained counselor and she has worked with children, young adults and families dealing with end-of-life cancer.

Peer-reviewed publications

Talin, P. and Sanabria, E. 2017. “Ayahuasca’s entwined efficacy: An ethnographic study of ritual healing from ‘addiction.’” International Journal of Drug Policy, 44, 23–30.


Talin, P. and Sanabria, E. (in press) “Healing with the brew: Ayahuasca’s Reconfiguration of ‘Addiction.’” In Ayahuasca Healing and Science. Edited by Labate, Beatriz C. and Cavnar, Clancy (Eds.) Cham, Switzerland: Springer.

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