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Department ofAnthropology

Veronica Miranda

Veronica Miranda

Assistant Professor, Anthropology
Co-director, Latin American Studies Program

Veronica Miranda is a teacher-scholar whose work in medical anthropology addresses how individual and community health is shaped by state institutions, health programs and policies, cultural systems of knowledge, and intersecting positionalities. Drawing from anthropological and feminist approaches, her work focuses on how marginalized communities confront the structures of inequality that shape their lives. She has two concurrent research projects that focus on health disparities and inequities along the lines of reproductive health, race, and political economy.

The first is a long-term ethnographic project that has documented changing childbirth practices and access to health resources among Maya women in rural Quintana Roo, Mexico. This research (2002-present) examines how Maya women, midwives, and state health care workers participate in the production of childbirth and maternal health care practices. This includes an analysis of health resources with an emphasis on availability and access.

Miranda’s second project focuses on barriers to postpartum care for Latinx communities in Santa Clara County. This interdisciplinary project (Anthropology and Public Health) aims to identify how members of the Latinx community navigate their postpartum lives, including the resources and support they have access to. The project addresses how the sociopolitical experiences of Latinx birthing individuals impact their decisions to seek or to not seek medical care after birth, even in the face of common and often severe physiological, psychological, and social complications. A secondary aspect of this research focuses on the perinatal mental health of Latinx birthgivers in San Jose, CA.

Miranda holds a Ph.D. in Anthropology and a graduate certificate in Gender and Women’s Studies from the University of Kentucky, a master degree in Education from Chaminade University, and a master degree in Applied Anthropology from San Diego State University. Her undergraduate training was in Anthropology at Cal Poly Humboldt. She has received fellowships from Fulbright-COMEXUS and the US Department of Education Foreign Language and Area Studies Program.

Research Interests

Medical Anthropology, reproductive health, midwifery, perinatal mental health, postpartum, traditional knowledge, community health, political economy, Yucatan Peninsula, Mexico

  • ANTH/PHSC 135: Human Development and Sexuality
  • ANTH 172: Anthropology of Aging
  • ANTH/ENVS 50: World Geography
  • ANTH 12a: Measuring Humanity: Historical Implications of Exclusion
  • ANTH 185: Anthropologies of Latin America: Culture, Politics and Power
  • ANTH 114: Anthropology Senior Capstone
  • PHSC 1: Human Health and Disease

Peer-Reviewed Journal Articles

Lydia Dixon, Mounia El Kotni, Veronica Miranda
2019    “A Tale of Three Midwives: How State Policies Reshape Midwifery Practice in Mexico”. Journal of Latin American and Caribbean Anthropology 24(2): 351-369.
Lauren Hunter, Jill Bormann, Wendy Belding, Elisa J. Sobo, Linnea Axman, Brenda K. Reseter, Suzanne M. Hanson, and Veronica Miranda
2011    “Satisfaction and Use of a Spiritually Based Mantram Intervention for Childbirth-related Fears in Couples”. Applied Nursing Research 24: 138-146
Kathryn C. Dowling, Veronica Miranda, and Vanessa E. Galaviz
2008    “Improved Participation for Blood Lead Screening with In-Home Phlebotomy”. The Journal of Primary Prevention 29(4): 323-330

Peer-Reviewed Book Chapters

2015    “Lingering Discourses of Yucatan’s Past: Political Ecologies of Birth in Rural Yucatan”. In The Maya of the Cochua Region: Archaeological and Ethnographic Perspectives on the Northern Lowlands. Justine Shaw ed. Albuquerque: University of New Mexico Press. Pg 235-256.

Editor Reviewed Publications

2020    Veronica Miranda, Mounia El Kotni, and Lydia Zacher Dixon
“‘Yes, we all count equally!’: Navigating Ethnographic Co-authorship among Junior Scholars”. Member Voices/Fieldsights, Society for Cultural Anthropology. February 6.

2020    Mounia El Kotni, Lydia Z. Dixon, and Veronica Miranda
“Introduction: Co-authorship as feminist writing and practice”. Member Voices/Fieldsights, Society for Cultural Anthropology. February 6.

2016    “Rumors, Threats, and C-sections in Rural Yucatan”. Anthropology News. February.

2015    “When Breastmilk Isn’t Enough”. Council on Anthropology and Reproduction Newsletter 22(1):4-6.

Scholarly Online Publications

2013    Oportunidades: Co-responsibility and the Politics of Health Care in Mexico. Anthropologies: A Collaborative Online Project. Issue 17. 

2012    Motherhood and Internal Migration in Quintana Roo, Mexico. Anthropologies: A Collaborative Online Project. Issue 13.