Monday, February 23, 2015

Health Care: UNO Hosts Anthropology Talk on Impact to Migrant Workers

As policy questions surrounding affordable health care policy trouble state and national legislatures, the University of New Orleans brings to campus an anthropologist and physician who conducts expert research on migrant workers.

Join Us!

Seth Holmes' talk: “Fresh Fruit, Broken Bodies: Migrant Workers in the United States” takes place from 11 a.m. to 12:15 p.m. on Thursday, Feb. 26 in the new International Center, Room 112.

All are welcome. This talk is free and open to the public.

Seth Holmes, an anthropology professor from University California-Berkeley, visits campus Thursday at the invitation of the UNO Anthropology Department. Holmes is a cultural anthropologist and physician whose work focuses broadly on social hierarchies, health inequalities, and the ways in which such inequalities are naturalized and normalized in society and in health care, said Steve Striffler, Doris Zemurray Stone Chair in Latin American Studies and professor of anthropology and geography at UNO.

His talk: “Fresh Fruit, Broken Bodies: Migrant Workers in the United States” takes place from 11 a.m. to 12:15 p.m. on Thursday, Feb. 26 in the new International Center, Room 112.

Holmes’ similarly titled book has won the New Millennium Book Award from the Society for Medical Anthropology; the Society for the Anthropology of Work Book Award; the Association for Humanist Sociology Book Award and the Margaret Mead Award from the American Anthropological Association and the Society for Applied Anthropology, Striffler said.

"Fresh Fruit, Broken Bodies provides an intimate examination of the everyday lives and suffering of Mexican migrants in our contemporary food system. An anthropologist and MD in the mold of Paul Farmer and Didier Fassin, Holmes shows how market forces, anti-immigrant sentiment, and racism undermine health and health care. Holmes’s material is visceral and powerful," the University of California Press said upon publication of Holmes' book.

"He trekked with his companions illegally through the desert into Arizona and was jailed with them before they were deported. He lived with indigenous families in the mountains of Oaxaca and in farm labor camps in the U.S., planted and harvested corn, picked strawberries, and accompanied sick workers to clinics and hospitals. This “embodied anthropology” deepens our theoretical understanding of the ways in which social inequalities and suffering come to be perceived as normal and natural in society and in health care."

Holmes is Martin Sisters Endowed Chair Assistant Professor in the UC Berkeley School of Public Health and the Graduate Program in Medical Anthropology.  He is co-director of the MD/PhD Track in Medical Anthropology coordinated between UCSF and UC Berkeley and founding director of the Berkeley Center for Social Medicine.

He also sees patients at the public hospital in Oakland, Calif.

Read More

Fresh Fruit, Broken Bodies
Book Review: "The Truth Behind Migrant Workers: an Anthropologist's Perspective