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Elizabeth Farfán-Santos

Ken Brown

Assistant Professor
Ph.D., University of California, Berkeley

302 McElhinney Hall
(713) 743-6371

Biographical Summary

Before joining the anthropology faculty in Comparative Cultural Studies, I was a 2-year Andrew Mellon Postdoctoral Fellow in the Humanities Research Center at Rice University and the 2014-2015 Visiting Scholar in the Center for Mexican American Studies at the University of Houston. I obtained my B.A. from Trinity University in anthropology and international studies in 2005 and my M.A. and Ph.D. in medical anthropology from the University of California, Berkeley in 2011.

I am a medical anthropologist interested in the impact of racial inequality and exclusion both political/institutional and everyday/social on the physiological, emotional, and cultural lives of black and brown groups in Latin America and the United States.
Over the past decade, I have conducted research on the formation of new Afro-Brazilian quilombola identities, racial exclusion, and changing multicultural rights in Brazil. This research has been published in two peer-reviewed articles and is also the subject of my forthcoming book from the University of Texas Press, Black Bodies, Black Rights: The Politics of Quilombolismo in Contemporary Brazil. Currently, I am working on a new book project on the health impacts of political exclusion and institutional discrimination for Mexican immigrants and Mexican Americans disqualified from access to health care and public health resources under current U.S. health care reforms.

Research and Teaching Interests:

Medical anthropology, critical race theory, identity formation, racial exclusion and violence, citizenship and the state, health care access and global health, Latin America and the United States.


  • Introduction to Cultural Anthropology
  • The Politics of Health Care and the Latino Community
  • Mexican American Cultural Formation
  • Field Methods: Ethnographic Produciton in the 21st Century (FALL 2016)
  • International Migration, Health, and Human Rights (FALL 2016)