Marian Miner Cook

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Undocumented Motherhood: Conversations on Love, Trauma, and Border Crossing

Mon, April 3, 2023
Dinner Program
Elizabeth Farfán-Santos

Elizabeth Farfán-Santos, medical anthropologist and author, will discuss her new book, Undocumented Motherhood: Conversations on Love, Trauma, and Border Crossing. The book is about Claudia Garcia who crossed the border because her toddler, Natalia, could not hear. Leaving behind everything she knew in Mexico and undertaking a dangerous journey, Claudia discovered that being undocumented would mean more than just an immigration status—it would be a way of living, of mothering, and of being discarded by even those institutions we count on to care.

Elizabeth Farfán-Santos has a Ph.D. and M.A. in medical anthropology from the University of California, Berkeley. An accomplished researcher and scholar, Farfán-Santos is the author of two books, Black Bodies, Black Rights: The Politics of Quilombolismo in Contemporary Brazil and Undocumented Motherhood: Conversations on Love, Trauma, and Border Crossing, both published by the University of Texas Press. Her work has appeared in prestigious journals including Medical Anthropology: Cross-Cultural Studies in Health and Illness, Latino Studies, the Journal of Latin American and Caribbean Anthropology, and Intima: A Journal of Narrative Medicine.

Recently, Farfán-Santos moved on from her position as associate professor with tenure at the University of Houston. Since then, she has collaborated with public health leaders within the Houston public health system, directed sessions on cultural humility for researchers in neurocognitive disorders, and is currently teaching sessions on medical anthropology and barriers to health access for marginalized and underserved communities at the UH College of Medicine.

Despite her long history of research and teaching, Farfán-Santos identifies primarily as a writer passionate about nonfiction and creative prose that blends multiple genres, including ethnography, memoir, essay, and poetry. She has published creative essays and poetry and brings together the researcher-anthropologist and creative writer in her new book, Undocumented Motherhood.

View Video: YouTube with Elizabeth Farfan-Santos

Food for Thought: Podcast with Elizabeth Farfan-Santos

Marian Miner Cook Athenaeum

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