Monica Greco BA MA PhD

Staff details

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

Monica Greco works at the intersections of social science and the history and philosophy of medicine. The focus of her research is on psychosomatic medicine, and on modes of thought and practice that seek to address the consequences of epistemic dualism for health, medical practice, and society. She is currently conducting participant observation as part of a clinical research team investigating novel interventions for patients with 'medically unexplained symptoms' in primary care.

Monica is a fellow of the Alexander von Humboldt Stiftung, and welcomes enquiries about the Feodor Lynen programme.

Monica studied History (BA) and Critical Theory (MA) at the University of Sussex before gaining her PhD in Social and Political Sciences from the European University Institute in 1996. She has taught across all levels at Goldsmiths since joining the College in 1996, and was Director of Postgraduate Research (PhD programmes) before taking on her current role of Head of Department.

Teaching and Supervision

Monica welcomes PhD supervision inquiries in all areas relating to her research interests, both empirical and theoretical (see summary). This broadly includes the study of knowledge practices in medicine and psychiatry; uncertain and contested illnesses; neurodiversity; concepts of health/disease/disability; life and the problematic of vitalism.


Research interests

Monica's research interests include the social and political dimensions of (medical and psychiatric) nomenclature, classification, diagnosis; concepts of health, illness, and therapeutics, particularly in relation to the construction of subjectivities and problems of (self-)governance; medical humanities; the concept of 'life', vitalism, arts of life; dynamics of change and transformation across bio, psycho, and social levels.

Theoretically, Monica is interested in the relevance of process, empirical, and speculative philosophies for social research on health, illness, and medicine, especially the works of Michel Foucault, Isabelle Stengers, A. N. Whitehead, William James. She also has a special interest in the thought of Georges Canguilhem and of Viktor von Weizsaecker.

Publications and research outputs


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


Mooney, Cara; White, David Alexander; Dawson, Jeremy; Deary, Vincent; Fryer, Kate; Greco, Monica; Horspool, Michelle; Neilson, Aileen; Rowlands, Gillian; Sanders, Tom; Thomas, Ruth E; Thomas, Steve; Waheed, Waquas and Burton, Christopher D. 2022. Study protocol for the Multiple Symptoms Study 3: a pragmatic, randomised controlled trial of a clinic for patients with persistent (medically unexplained) physical symptoms. BMJ Open, 12, e066511. ISSN 2044-6055

Greco, Monica. 2021. Vitalism Now – A Problematic. Theory, Culture & Society, 38(2), pp. 47-69. ISSN 0263-2764

Bell, Vaughan; Wilkinson, Sam; Greco, Monica; Hendrie, Callum; Mills, Ben and Deeley, Quinton. 2020. What is the functional/organic distinction actually doing in psychiatry and neurology? [version 1; peer review: 3 approved]. Wellcome Open Research, 5(138), pp. 1-19. ISSN 2398-502X

Greco, Monica. 2019. On illness and value: biopolitics, psychosomatics, participating bodies. Medical Humanities, 45(2), pp. 107-115. 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, 65(2), pp. 110-129. ISSN 0038-0261

Greco, Monica and Stenner, Paul. 2017. From paradox to pattern shift: Conceptualising liminal hotspots and their affective dynamics. Theory & 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, Robbie; Greco, Monica and Solomon, Judith. 2015. The Politics of Attachment: Lines of Flight with Bowlby, Deleuze and Guattari. 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), 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

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