Anna Corwin, PhD, Associate Professor in the Women's Spirituality Department at California Institute of Integral Studies (CIIS) in San Francisco, CA Anna Corwin

Associate Professor
Women's Spirituality and Anthropology
School of Consciousness and Transformation (SCT)

PhD, University of California, Los Angeles

MA, Northern Arizona University; BA, Smith College

Anna I. Corwin, received her PhD from UCLA in anthropology.  She is a recipient of fellowships from the National Science Foundation and The National Endowment for the Humanities for her research on aging, religious practice, and well-being.  An Associate Professor of Women’s Spirituality and Anthropology at CIIS, Dr. Corwin has spent the last fourteen years researching how everyday practices shape individuals’ experiences of well-being as we age.  Her newest project, a multi-sited project on religious intelligences funded by the Templeton World Charity Foundation, explores the skills and capacities associated interaction with the divine.  

An author of many peer reviewed articles and the book Embracing Age: How Catholic Nuns Became Models of Well-Being with Rutgers University Press (2021), Dr. Corwin’s work explores the effects of everyday routines and habits on health and well-being in older age. 


2021  Embracing Age: How Catholic Nuns Became Models of Well-Being. Rutgers University Press. Available at Rutgers University Press in softcover and as PDF and as an Audiobook 


2021 Anna I. Corwin and Mara Buchbinder “Culture and Control in End-of-Life Planning.” Journal of the American Geriatrics Society.

2021 Cordelia Erickson-Davis, Tanya M. Luhrmann, Lianne M. Kurina, Kara Weisman, Naomi Cornman, Anna I. Corwin & Jeremy Bailenson “The sense of presence: lessons from virtual reality” Religion Brain and Behavior 11(3): 335-351. DOI: 10.1080/2153599X.2021.1953573

2020 Anna I. Corwin and Cordelia Erickson-Davis “Experiencing presence: An interactive model of perception.” HAU: Journal of Ethnographic Theory 10(1).

2020 “Care in Interaction: Aging, Personhood, and Meaningful Decline.” Medical Anthropology: Cross Cultural Studies in Health and Illness. DOI: 10.1080/01459740.2019.1705297

2020 Andrew Coppens, Anna I. Corwin, and Lucia Alcalá “Beyond Behavior: Linguistic Evidence of Cultural Variation in Parental Ethnotheories of Children’s Prosocial Helping.” Frontiers in Psychology 11(307):1-20.

2018 “Overcoming Elderspeak: A Qualitative Study of Three Alternatives.” The Gerontologist 58(4): 724–729.

2017 “Semiotic Agency and the Performance of Gender among Genderqueer Individuals.” Gender and Language 11(2): 255-277. DOI: 10.1558/genl.27552

2014 “Lord Hear Our Prayer: Prayer, Social Support, and Well-being in a Catholic Convent.” Journal of Linguistic Anthropology 24(2): 175-195.

2012 “Changing God, Changing Bodies: The Impact of New Prayer Practices on Elderly Catholic Nuns’ Embodied Experience.” Ethos 40(4): 390-410. DOI: 10.1111/j.1548-1352.2012.01267

2012 “Let Him Hold You: Spiritual and Social Support in a Catholic Convent Infirmary.” Anthropology of Aging Quarterly 33(4): 120-129. DOI: 10.5195/aa.2012.29

Book Chapters:

2020 Anna I. Corwin and Taylor Brown “Emotion in the Language of Prayer” In The Routledge Handbook of Language and Emotion, eds. S. Pritzker, J. Fenigson & J. Wilce.

2017 “Growing Old with God: An Alternative Vision of Aging Well.” In Successful Aging as a Contemporary Obsession. S. Lamb, ed. Rutgers University Press. 98-111

2017 Lamb, Sarah, Jessica Robbins and Anna I. Corwin “Introduction: Successful Aging as a 21st Century Obsession” In Successful Aging as a Contemporary Obsession. S. Lamb, ed. Rutgers University Press.

Invited Paper:

2019 Anna I. Corwin, Barbara Smuts, Becca Franks, Christine Webb, Erica Cartmill, Jason Throop, and Monica Gagliano “Seeking the Other: Encounters, relationships, and communication with non-conspecifics.” A white paper created for the Templeton World Charity Foundation Diverse Intelligences Initiative.

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