I am a Ph.D. candidate in the department of anthropology at the University of Notre Dame. I hold a B.A. in anthropology from Sonoma State University (2014), and an M.A. in sociocultural anthropology from San Francisco State University (2019). My work focuses on pregnancy, birth, postpartum, and related medical care. My research interests concern how reproductive care and practice create a space which connects large-scale social, political, and historical forces, and individual bodies, families, and lives—and as such, provide a means to critically view and better understand the movements of power through contemporary societies.
My work on my Master’s Degree at San Francisco State focused on non-mainstream forms of birth care in Sonoma County, California. I conducted fieldwork among a small community who actively sought out nonbiomedical forms of care, including midwife-attended homebirths. The results of this research led to a series of interesting considerations about how medical decision-making that favors non-dominant forms of care can express resistance to medical power and authority, convey one’s class position, and also demonstrate one’s belonging to a group. At the University of Notre Dame, my research expands upon the ethnographic work I previously conducted in the San Francisco Bay Area. My dissertation explores how medical decision-making is mediated by a locally specific social contexts—such as shared community understandings related to health, the body, and the nature of care relationships—and how rethinking anthropological theories about embodiment might lead to better ways to conceptualize and reimagine maternity care.