I am a Ph.D. student 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, with a special focus in medical anthropology, from San Francisco State University (2019). My work focuses on human reproduction—specifically, 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 alternative forms of prenatal and birth care in Sonoma County, California. I conducted original ethnographic fieldwork among a small community who actively sought out nonallopathic forms of medical care, including midwife-attended homebirth. 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, I intend to focus on the social resurgence of traditional midwifery among the Māori people of Aotearoa/New Zealand. It is my hope that this project will provide a useful exploration into what it means for a historically marginalized community to receive birth care in a culturally appropriate way, and in so doing perhaps facilitate an argument for greater cultural autonomy within medical care in a broad sense.