A cultural and medical anthropologist, Dr. Reyes-Foster’s (she/her/ella) research examines the intersections of health, medicine, and society in a variety of different settings and regions, particularly the ways in which these intersections reproduce health disparities and social inequality. Her research foci include mental health, reproduction, coloniality, and gender. Her first book, Psychiatric Encounters, explores the experiences of patients and psychiatrists as they navigate the challenges of public psychiatric care in Mexico, closely examining the impact of the Mexican state’s neoliberal health reforms on how patients access care and doctors perform their duties. Engaging with madness, modernity, and identity, Psychiatric Encounters considers the enduring role of colonialism in the context of Mexico’s troubled contemporary mental health care institutions. Her second book, Sharing Milk, co-authored with UCF sociologist Shannon Carter, explores the emotional and material dimensions of the growing human milk sharing practice in the Global North and its implications for contemporary understandings of infant feeding in the US. Dr. Reyes-Foster has continued building on her previous research and currently has two projects in development, one on mental well-being and return migration from the US to Mexico, and another on maternal mental health, obstetric violence, and surgical birth in the US. Dr. Reyes-Foster has written about coloniality, identity, indigenous 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 and joined the UCF Faculty that same year. You can find her tweeting on @BeatriAnthro.


Research Specialization

Anthropology of mental health; anthropology of reproduction and infant feeding; coloniality of power; critical medical anthropology; gender studies; feminist ethnography; Latin America and the United States.

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