Research Affiliate: Peg LeVine

Center for Advanced Genocide Research Fellow, 2014

Currently: Associate Professor in Global and Population Health at the University of Melbourne, Australia

2015/02/26 Lecture by Dr. Peg LeVine: "Ritualcide: Priming Mass Violence and Terror Under the Khmer Rouge"

Language: English

USC Shoah Foundation Center for Advanced Genocide Research Center Fellow Peg Levine, PhD, EdD, discusses her term Ritualcide and its application during the Cambodian Genocide.

Peg LeVine received her Doctorate of Clinical Psychology (Ed.D.) from Virginia Tech university and her Ph.D. in medical anthropology from Monash University. As an interdisciplinary scholar in traumatic psychology, anthropology, Asian studies, and sculpting, her work focuses on "Ritualcide," a concept that she introduced as the systematic erosion of access to spiritual rituals, places, objects, and physical-metaphysical arbitrators. Dr. LeVine has conducted extensive ethnographic studies while travelling with Cambodians to sites of ritual and cultural destruction during the Khemer Rouge genocide from 1975-1979 which killed between 1.5 - 3 million people. She is currently expanding the field of response oriented Morita therapy, originally started in Japan, and applying her methods to aid survivors of sex trafficking in Southeast Asia. She is a consultant for the International Red Cross, Foundation of Survivors of Torture, and trains health professionals working with asylum seekers in detention. 

Selected Publications

  • Love and Dread in Cambodia: Weddings and Births and Ritual Harm Under the Khemer Roughe. (Singapore; Honolulu: National University of Singapore Press and University of Hawaii Press, 2010)
  • LeVine, P., & Matsuda, Y. (2003). Reformulation of Diagnosis with Attention to Cultural Dynamics: Case of a Japanese Woman Hospitalized in Melbourne, Australia. Culture, Medicine and Psychiatry, 27 (2), 221-243.
  • LeVine, P. (2003). Cultural Implications for Morita Therapy in the Austral-Asia Region: Treating Anxiety with Dissociation Related to Cumulative Trauma. Psychiatria et Neurologia JapnicaI, 105, 567-575.
  • Morita, S. (Author), LeVine, P. (Ed), Kondo, A. (Trans), Morita Therapy and the True Nature of Anxiety-Based Disorders (Shinkeishitsu). (New York: State University of New York Press, 1998). 

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