SoA Lecture Series: Dr. Seth Holmes (Socio-Cultural)


Apr 26 2017 - 5:00pm
PDF icon SethHolmes_AnthroLectureSeries-3.pdf258.02 KB

SOCIO-CULTURAL: Dr. Seth Holmes, Martin Sisters Endowed Chair Associate Professor of Medical Anthropology and Public Health at the University of California Berkeley

Title: Migrant Farmworkers and (De) Naturalization of Social and Health Hierarchies

Wednesday, April 26, 2017
Haury Room 216
5:00 p.m.

Seth Holmes is Associate Professor in the UC Berkeley School of Public Health’s Community Health and Human Development Division and the Graduate Program in Medical Anthropology. He is Co-Director (with Ian Whitmarsh) of the MD/PhD Track in Medical Anthropology coordinated between UCSF and UC Berkeley and Co-Chair (with Charles Briggs) of the Berkeley Center for Social Medicine. Dr. Holmes is the author of Fresh fruit, broken bodies: Migrant farmworkers in the United States (University of California Press, 2013) and many other publications. He is the recent recipient of the Margret Mead and Textor Excellence in Anticipatory Anthropology Awards as well as the New Millennium Book Award.

The University of California Press describes Dr. Holmes’ most recent book:
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. 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.

* All of the book award money and royalties from the sales of this book have been donated to farm worker unions, farm worker organizations and farm worker projects in consultation with farm workers who appear in the book.”

Follow Dr. Holmes’ Work

Holmes, Seth M., Michael W. Rabow, and Suzanne L. Dibble. “Screening the soul: Communication regarding spiritual concerns among primary care physicians and seriously ill patients approaching the end of life.” American Journal of Hospice and Palliative Medicine® 23, no. 1 (2006): 25–33.
Holmes, Seth. “An ethnographic study of the social context of migrant health in the United States.” PLoS Med 3, no. 10 (2006): e448.
_________. “Structural vulnerability and hierarchies of ethnicity and citizenship on the farm.” Medical Anthropology 30, no. 4 (2011): 425–449.
_________. “The clinical gaze in the practice of migrant health: Mexican migrants in the United States.” Social science & medicine 74, no. 6 (2012): 873–881.
_________. “Is it worth risking your life?”: Ethnography, risk and death on the US–Mexico border.” Social Science & Medicine 99 (2013): 153–161.



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