People » Beatriz Reyes-Foster


Dr. Reyes-Foster is an assistant professor. Her research interests focus on medical anthropology, specifically on the cultural interactions between medical systems and the people who use them. Her previous work focused on suicide prevention efforts in Yucatan, Mexico and most recently on the encounters and disconnects that take place between Yucatec Maya patients and psychiatrists in an acute ward of a public psychiatric hospital, also in Yucatan. Her current research interests focus on issues surrounding birth in Central Florida, particularly on the ways in which women seeking vaginal birth after cesarean (VBAC) make decisions about their medical care. Dr. Reyes-Foster has written about identity, media representations of indigenous people, personhood and self, cultural constructions of health and illness, and the connections between religion, spiritual beliefs, and biomedicine. She received her PhD in Sociocultural Anthropology from the University of California, Berkeley, in 2011. She joined the UCF Faculty in 2011.

Global mental health. The intersections of language and culture in mental health services. Suicide and suicide prevention organizations and their relationship to cultural narratives of the exotic “indigenous”. Religion, spirituality and its intersections with modernity and everyday life. Phenomenology and experiential frameworks. Death as critical lens; end of life as an arena of interaction and negotiation within, between and across modalities and forms of life and power. History, historiography and its relationship to the framing and contextualization of “modern” social problems. Colonial and postcolonial studies.
Geographic areas: Latin America; Yucatán; “Maya region”: Yucatán, Chiapas, Guatemala, Belize; United States (South Brunswick and Highland Park, New Jersey).

Please visit the News section for Dr. Reyes-Foster to find the latest information on her accomplishments.

May 2013:

Dr. Beatriz Reyes-Foster and Dr. Ty Matejowsky wrote a guest column piece for the Orlando Sentinel called, “Anthropologists should do a better job of promoting their field.” http://news.cos.ucf.edu/ucf-professors-write-guest-column-piece-for-the-orlando-sentinel/

August 2012:

Dr. Beatriz Reyes-Foster was chosen to serve as a Faculty Fellow with the Center for Success of Women Faculty for the 2012-2013 academic year. She organized workshops on life-work balance for UCF women faculty, mentored other women faculty on life-work balance, and generally promoted women faculty successes at UCF.

Award Winning Linguistic Anthropology

University of Central Florida student Christy Box spent six weeks travelling Ireland, Scotland and England this summer, all in pursuit of words. She just won an award for her years of research on the subject. B... Read more

Anthropology Student Studies Homelessness

Anthropology graduate student, Rebecca Young, ’14, currently has an article under review in the peer reviewed journal, Human Organization, about homelessness in Orlando and Oviedo. Rebecca has done resea... Read more

Undergraduates; The Backbone Of Anthropology

Anthroplogy professors Dr. Matejowsky and Dr. Reyes-Foster write articles on a periodic basis for Anthropology News, which is the official publication from the American Anthropological Association.  This is t... Read more

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