Dr. Reyes-Foster is an associate 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.

Research Specialization

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).

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