Sheila Cosminsky Austin: University of Texas Press, 2016, 303 pp. Reviewed by Mounia El Kotni   Midwives and Mothers builds on Sheila Cosminsky’s decades-long involvement with midwives in Guatemala, where she has been conducting research since 1974. This thoroughly documented monograph provides a rich account of the changes and continuities in women’s reproductive care preferences and midwives’ practices in rural […]

Carla Freeman Durham: Duke University Press, 2014, 258 pp. Reviewed by Carla Jones A major strain of anthropological scholarship of the past decade has analyzed the contours of neoliberalism. At first glance, the term itself conjures a now familiar set of effects. Rooted in the political and economic restructuring of basic social welfare through the state, neoliberal conditions demand a […]

Dilemmas of Difference: Indigenous Women and the Limits of Postcolonial Development Policy Sarah A. Radcliffe Durham: Duke University Press, 2015, 372 pp. Reviewed by April D. J. Petillo Stemming from a previous project exploring the potential impacts of Indigenous transnational activism on development policy and decision making, Sarah A. Radcliff examines the tensions and misfires between the aims of development’s […]

It is a truism that an anthropologist’s favorite word is often ‘complex:’ social life is complex; gender is complex; health is complex. Perhaps a bit tongue and cheek, but Emily Wentzell’s Maturing Masculinities: Aging, Chronic Illness, and Viagra in Mexico offers a much welcomed theoretical framework for understanding complexity over time. Building on Annemarie Mol’s (2002) concept of diseases as […]

Nadine T. Fernandez New Brunswick: Rutgers University Press, 2010 Reviewed by Erica Lorraine Williams In this insightful and well-written ethnography, Nadine Fernandez explores a central paradox: if mestizaje (racial mixing) is the “essence” of the Cuban nation, then why are interracial couples, the purported “engines of mestizaje” (184), still perceived with disdain? Why are interracial couplings – particularly those between […]

Paloma Martinez-Cruz Tucson, AZ: The University of Arizona Press, 2012. Reviewed by E.A. Polanco Women and Knowledge in Mesoamerica: From East L.A. to Anahuac maps an ethnohistorical journey through Mesoamerican time and space in order to understand why Latinas in the U.S. are viewed as “pathogens,” even though they are vessels of knowledge. Martinez-Cruz employs theoretical tools from social epistemology, […]

Yasmina Katsulis Austin: University of Texas Press, 2008 Reviewed by Sharla Blank Yasmina Katsulis’ book, Sex Work and the City: The Social Geography of Health and Safety in Tijuana, Mexico describes and analyzes sex work and sex workers in the Zona Norte district of Tijuana, Mexico. Katsulis conducted 18 months of fieldwork in 2000-2001 to document the experience of female, […]

Ana Mariella Bacigalupo Austin: University of Texas Press, 2007 Reviewed by Jennifer Hale-Gallardo Shamans of the Foye Tree: Gender, Power and Healing among Chilean Mapuche is a fascinating and well-crafted ethnography on the cultural politics of the machi, or Mapuche shamans in southern Chile. In this enriching book, author Ana Mariella Bacigalupo presents an extensive analysis of her research based […]

Julie D. Shayne, Rutgers University Press, 2004 Reviewed by Monica Tarducci & Miranda Gonzalez Martin, Universidad de Buenos Aires The Revolution Question deals with the complex relations between feminist and revolutionary left movements in three Latin-American countries: Cuba, Chile and El Salvador. The results of Shayne’s research, based on formal interviews with leaders in revolutionary and feminist movements, participant observation, […]

Michael Gorkin, Marta Pineda, & Gloria Leal Berkeley: University of California Press, 2000 Reviewed by Lea Pickard, SUNY-Albany From Grandmother to Granddaughter is a multigenerational oral history of Salvadoran women’s lives. Authors Gorkin, Pineda and Leal are psychologists who conducted interviews with grandmother-mother-granddaughter trios from three families in El Salvador: the Nuñez family, part of the Salvadoran upper class; the […]