Monica Greco BA MA PhD

Staff details

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

Monica Greco's 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’.

Academic qualifications

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.


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.



Fraser, Mariam and Greco, Monica. 2004. The Body: A Reader. Routledge. ISBN 978-0-415-34007-6

Edited Book

Mixa, Emma; Pritz, Sarah; Tumeltshammer, Markus and Greco, Monica, eds. 2016. Un-Wohl-Gefühle: Eine Kulturanalyse gegenwärtiger Befindlichkeiten. Bielefeld: Transcript Verlag. ISBN 978-3-83762630-8

Greco, Monica and Stenner, Paul, eds. 2008. Emotions: a social science reader. London: Routledge. ISBN 978-0-415-42564-3

Edited Journal

Stenner, Paul; Greco, Monica and Motzkau, Johanna, eds. 2017. Liminal Hotspots, Theory and Psychology, 27(2). 0959-3543

Book Section

Greco, Monica and Savransky, Martin. 2018. Foucault's Subjectivities. In: Lisa Downing, ed. After Foucault: Culture, Theory, and Criticism in the 21st Century. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. ISBN 9781316506042

Greco, Monica. 2017. Thinking with outrageous propositions. In: Alex Wilkie; Martin Savransky and Marsha Rosengarten, eds. Speculative Research: The Lure of Possible Futures. London & New York: Routledge, pp. 218-227. ISBN 1138688363

Greco, M.. 2017. Zur Vitalitaet des Vitalismus. In: M Muhle and C Voss, eds. Black Box Leben. Berlin: August Verlag, pp. 39-57. ISBN 978-3-941360-44-0

Greco, Monica. 2016. Neurotic Citizenship und das Problem der Somatisierung. In: E. Mixa; S. M. Pritz; M. Tumeltshammer and M. Greco, eds. Un-Wohl-Gefühle: Eine Kulturanalyse gegenwärtiger Befindlichkeiten. Bielefeld: Transcript Verlag, pp. 69-94. ISBN 978-3-8376-2630-8

Greco, M. and Stenner, P.. 2015. Happiness and the Art of Life: Diagnosing the Psychopolitics of Wellbeing. In: C. Behnke; C. Kastalan; V. Knoll and U. Wuggenig, eds. Art in the Periphery of the Centre. Berlin: Sternberg Press, pp. 330-351. ISBN 978-3-95679-077-5

Greco, Monica. 2013. Logics of Interdisciplinarity: the case of medical humanities. In: Georgina Born and Andrew Barry, eds. Interdisciplinarity: Reconfigurations of the Social and Natural Sciences. London and New York: Routledge, pp. 226-246. ISBN 978-0415578929

Greco, Monica. 2009. On the Art of life: a Vitalist Reading of Medical Humanities. In: Joanna Latimer and Michael Schillmeier, eds. Un/knowing Bodies. London: Wiley-Blackwell, pp. 25-45. ISBN 978-1405190831

Greco, Monica. 2008. Governmentality and the value of introspection. In: Vera Saller; Mirna Wurgler and Regina Weiss, eds. New Psychiatric Diagnoses as Reflection of Social Change. Seismo Verlag. ISBN 978-3-03777-055-9

Greco, Monica. 2007. On the vitality of vitalism. In: God Iwele; Laura K Kerr and VY Mudimbe, eds. The Normal and Its Orders: Reading Georges Canguilhem. Editions Malaika. ISBN 978-2923284064


Greco, Monica. 2019. Vitalism Now – A Problematic. Theory, Culture and Society, ISSN 0263-2764

Greco, Monica. 2019. On illness and value: biopolitics, psychosomatics, participating bodies. Medical Humanities, 45(2), ISSN 1468-215X

Stenner, Paul and Greco, Monica. 2018. On The Magic Mountain: The novel as liminal affective technology. International Political Anthropology, 11(1), pp. 43-60.

Greco, Monica. 2017. Pragmatics of explanation: creative accountability in the care of 'medically unexplained symptoms'. The Sociological Review Monographs, 65(2), pp. 110-129. ISSN 0081-1769

Greco, Monica and Stenner, Paul. 2017. From paradox to pattern shift: conceptualizing liminal hotspots and their affective dynamics. Theory and Psychology, 27(2), pp. 147-166. ISSN 0959-3543

Greco, Monica. 2016. Canguilhem: the mutual purpose of ethics and science. Somatosphere,

Greco, Monica. 2016. What is the DSM? Diagnostic manual, cultural icon, political battleground: an overview with suggestions for a critical research agenda. Psychology & Sexuality, 7(1), pp. 6-22. ISSN 1941-9899

Duschinsky, R.; Greco, Monica and Solomon, J.. 2015. The Politics of Attachment: Lines of Flight. Theory, Culture & Society, 32(7-8), pp. 173-195. ISSN 0263-2764

Duschinsky, R.; Greco, Monica and Solomon, J.. 2014. Wait Up! Attachment and Sovereign Power. International Journal of Politics, Culture and Society, 28(3), pp. 223-242. ISSN 0891-4486

Stenner, Paul and Greco, Monica. 2013. Affectivity. Informática na Educação: Teoria e prática, 16(1), pp. 49-70. ISSN 1516-084X

Greco, Monica and Stenner, Paul. 2013. Happiness and the Art of Life: Diagnosing the psychopolitics of wellbeing. Health Culture and Society, 5(1), n/a. ISSN 2161-6590

Greco, Monica. 2012. The classification and nomenclature of 'medically unexplained symptoms': conflict, performativity and critique. Social Science and Medicine, 75(12), pp. 2362-2369. ISSN 0277-9536

Greco, Monica. 2012. Om livets kunst: en vitalistisk læsning af medicinsk humanisme. Tidsskrift for Forksning i Sygdom og Samfund, 9(17), pp. 13-38.

Greco, Monica. 2009. Thinking beyond polemics: approaching the health society through Foucault. Österreichische Zeitschrift für Soziologie, 34(2), pp. 13-27. ISSN 1011-0070

Greco, Monica. 2008. On the art of life: a vitalist reading of medical humanities. The Sociological Review, 56(s2), pp. 23-45.

Greco, Monica. 2005. On the vitality of vitalism. Theory Culture & Society, 22(1), pp. 15-27. ISSN 02632764

Greco, Monica. 2005. On the Vitality of Vitalism. Theory, Culture & Society, 22(1), pp. 15-27. ISSN 0263-2764

Greco, Monica. 2004. The politics of indeterminacy and the right to health. Theory Culture & Society, 21, pp. 1-22. ISSN 02632764

Greco, Monica. 2004. The ambivalence of error: "scientific ideology" in the history of the life sciences and psychosomatic medicine. Social Science & Medicine, 58(4), pp. 687-696. ISSN 02779536

Greco, Monica. 2001. Inconspicuous anomalies: alexithymia and ethical relations to the self. Health, 5(4), pp. 471-492. ISSN 14617196