Monica Greco BA MA PhD

Staff details

Department Sociology
Email m.greco (
Phone+44 (0)20 7919 7718
Monica Greco BA MA PhD

Monica Greco studied at the University of Sussex (BA in History, MA in Critical Theory) before gaining her PhD in Social and Political Science from the European University Institute (Florence). She joined Goldsmiths in 1996 and since then has taught across all levels within the department. She is Convenor of Postgraduate Research, with responsibility for the PhD programmes in Sociology and Visual Sociology.

Monica was a Humboldt Research Fellow at the Institut für Sozialforschung in Frankfurt and is currently Secretary of the Alexander Von Humboldt UK Association. She has taught at the University of Vienna and the University of Lausanne.

Her work addresses forms of knowledge in medicine and psychiatry both as objects of research and as vectors to think with. Her approach is broadly informed by the history and philosophy of these disciplines as well as social studies of science and technology. Monica’s particular area of interest is psychosomatics and the implications of concepts in psychosomatic medicine for questions of ethics and politics, subjectivity, social ontology, embodiment and agency. She is the author of Illness As a Work of Thought (Routledge, 1998) and co-editor of several collections, including two Routledge Readers (The Body, 2005; and The Emotions, 2008). Her articles in peer-reviewed journals have addressed a range of topics including health as a vector of neoliberal forms of subjectivity and self-governance; life, vitalism and normativity; medical humanities; critique and performativity in relation to the problem of contested illnesses and ‘medically unexplained symptoms’.


Books (monograph)

Greco, M. (1998) Illness as a Work of Thought - A Foucauldian Perspective on Psychosomatics. London & New York: Routledge. (ISBN 0-415-17849-5).

Books (edited collections)

Mixa, E., Pritz, S. M., Tumeltshammer, M. and Greco, M. (eds) (2016) Un-Wohl-Gefühle: Eine Kulturanalyse gegenwärtiger Befindlichkeiten . Bielefeld: Transcript-Verlag.

Greco, M. and Stenner, P. (eds) (2008) The Emotions: A Social Science Reader. London & New York: Routledge. (ISBN-10: 0415425646)

Fraser, M. and Greco, M. (eds) (2005) The Body: A Reader. London & New York: Routledge. (ISBN-10: 041534008X)

Della Porta, D., Greco, M. and Szakolczai, A. (eds) (2000) Identità Riconoscimento e Scambio. Rome: Laterza. (ISBN 88-420-6064-X)

Peer reviewed journal articles (since 2004)

Greco, M. and Stenner, P. (2016, forthcoming) Liminal hotspots: conceptualising the dynamics of suspended transition. Theory and Psychology.

Duschinsky, R., Greco, M. and Solomon, J. (2015) The politics of attachment: lines of flight with Bowlby, Deleuze and Guattari. Theory, Culture and Society. 32 (7-8): 173-195. (doi: 10.1177/0263276415605577)

Greco, M. (2015) What is the DSM? Diagnostic manual, cultural icon, political battleground: An overview with suggestions for a critical research agenda. Psychology and Sexuality (doi: 10.1080/19419899.2015.1024470), published online ahead of print on 16/03/2015.

Duschinsky, R., Greco, M. and Solomon, J. (2014) Wait up! Attachment and sovereign power. International Journal of Politics, Culture and Society. (doi: 10.1007/s10767-014-9192-9), published online ahead of print on 09/12/2014.

Greco, M. and Stenner, P. (2013) Happiness and the art of life: diagnosing the new psychopolitics of wellbeing. Health, Culture and Society. 5 (1): 1-19 (doi:10.5195/hcs.2013.147)
This article has been reprinted in C. Behnke, C. Kastalan, V. Knoll and U. Wuggenig (eds) (2015) Art in the Periphery of the Centre. Berlin: Sternberg Press.

Stenner, P. and Greco, M. (2013) Affectivity. Informática na Educação: Teoria e prática 16 (1): 49-70 (ISSN: 1982-1654).

Greco, M. (2012) The classification and nomenclature of ‘medically unexplained symptoms’: conflict, performativity and critique. Social Science and Medicine 75 (12): 2362-2369 (View on an external website).

Greco, M. (2009) The health society: polemics and problematizations. . 34: 2-13-E (DOI: 10.1007/DOI).

Greco, M. (2008) On the art of life: a vitalist reading of medical humanities. Sociological Review 56: 25-45 (DOI: 10.1111/j.1467-954X.2009.00814.x)
This article also appears as a chapter in the volume edited by J. Latimer and M. Schillmeier (2009) Un/Knowing Bodies. Oxford: Blackwell, and has been translated in Danish as Om livets kunst: en vitalistisk læsning af medicinsk humanisme. In special issue: Sundhed – En ny semi-religiøs vækkelse i moderne samfund?. Sygdom & Samfund 17: 1-38, 2012 (ISSN: 1904-7975).

Greco, M. (2005) On the vitality of vitalism. Theory, Culture and Society. 22(1): 15-27 (DOI:10.1177/0263276405048432).
This article also appears in the volume edited by M. Fraser, S. Kember and C. Lury (2005) Inventive Life: Approaches to the New Vitalism. London: Sage; and in the volume edited by G. Iwele, L. Kerr and V. Y. Mudimbe, V. Y. (2006) The Normal and Its Orders: Reading Georges Canguilhem. Ottawa: Editions Malaïka.

Greco, M. (2004) The politics of indeterminacy and the right to health. Theory, Culture and Society. 21(6): 1-22 (DOI: 10.1177/0263276404047413).

Greco, M. (2004) The ambivalence of error: Scientific ideology in the history of the life sciences and psychosomatic medicine. Social Science and Medicine. 58(4): 687-696 (DOI: 10.1016/S0277-9536(03)00220-X).

Book chapters (since 2004)

Greco, M. (2016) ‘Neurotic Citizenship’ und das Problem der Somatisierung, in Mixa, E., Pritz, S. M., Tumeltshammer, M. and Greco, M. (eds) Un-Wohl-Gefühle: Eine Kulturanalyse gegenwärtiger Befindlichkeiten. Bielefeld: Transcript-Verlag. (in press).

Greco, M. (2013) Logics of interdisciplinarity: the case of medical humanities. In: G. Born and A. Barry (eds) Interdisciplinarity: Reconfigurations of the Social and Natural Sciences. London & New York: Routledge (ISBN-10: 0415578922).

Greco, M. (2008) Governmentality and the value of introspection. In: Würgler, M. and Saller, V. (eds) Neue Psychiatrische Diagnosen im Spiegel sozialer Veränderungen/New Psychiatric Diagnoses as Reflections of Global Social Change. Zurich: Seismo Verlag. (ISBN 9783037770559 3037770554).

Greco, M. (2004) Wellness. In: U. Bröckling, S. Krasmann and T. Lemke (eds) Glossar der Gegenwart. Frankfurt: Suhrkamp Verlag (ISBN 978-3-518-12381-2).

Research Interests

  • Social theory (including STS) in relation to health, illness and medicine, with specific interest in psychosomatic medicine and ‘biopsychosocial’ models of health/illness
  • Knowledge, expertise, participation
  • Interdisciplinarity, medical humanities
  • Philosophy of medicine, particularly in relation to concepts of life and vitalism, the work of Georges Canguilhem and Viktor Von Weizsäcker

Wellcome Trust (Small Grants Scheme) and CRASSH (Cambridge), in collaboration with Robbie Duschinsky, Michael Schillmeier and Darin Weinberg, International Symposium: Biopolitics and Psychosomatics – Participating Bodies, to be held in Cambridge in July 2016.

European Science Foundation (Exploratory Network Grant), in collaboration with P. Stenner, J. Motzkau and M. Clinch, International Workshop: Affectivity and Liminality - Exploring the Dynamics of Suspended Transition. Brighton, 2013.