Dr. Vania Smith-Oka is a professor of Anthropology at the University of Notre Dame. She is a faculty fellow at The Kellogg Institute for International Studies and a faculty fellow at the Eck Institute for Global Health.
Professor Smith-Oka’s current research focuses on how marginal peoples around the world respond to the impact that globalization has on their health needs and local knowledge. She has sought to understand this question by looking at how the least powerful members of a community, i.e. women, are responding to this globalization.
Her research takes place in Mexico. She has carried out ethnographic and ethnobotanical research in a rural Nahua village in northern Veracruz on topics of women’s health, economic development, and biomedical equity. She currently works in the city of Puebla on formal and informal health care among low-income women.