Roger Thayer Stone Center For Latin American Studies

Tulane University

Arachu Castro

Associate Professor - Samuel Z. Stone Chair of Public Health in Latin America

Arachu Castro, Ph.D., M.P.H., is Samuel Z. Stone Chair of Public Health in Latin America at Tulane University and Senior Research Affiliate at CIPR. Her major interests are how social inequalities are embodied as differential risk for pathologies common among the poor and how health policies may alter the course of epidemic disease and other pathologies afflicting populations living in poverty. As a medical anthropologist trained in public health, Dr. Castro works mostly on health systems responses to infectious disease and women’s health in Latin America and the Caribbean. She has worked in Mexico, Argentina, Haiti, Cuba, Puerto Rico, Venezuela, Colombia, Peru, the Dominican Republic, Brazil, Nicaragua, and Honduras. Prior to joining Tulane in 2013, she was Associate Professor of Global Health and Social Medicine in the Department of Global Health and Social Medicine at Harvard Medical School, Senior Advisor for Mexico and Guatemala at Partners In Health, and Medical Anthropologist in the Division of Global Health Equity in the Department of Medicine at Brigham and Women's Hospital in Boston. Among other awards, Dr. Castro is the recipient of the 2005 Rudolf Virchow Award of the Society for Medical Anthropology and the 2010 Guggenheim Fellowship for her work on Women and AIDS in Latin America and the Caribbean. In 2012, she was named Fellow of the Society for Applied Anthropology. She has worked as consultant for PAHO, WHO, UNICEF, UNAIDS, UNDP, and the World Bank. More information here.

Contact Info
acastro1@tulane.edu

Degrees

  • M.A., University of Barcelona, History/Social Anthropology, 1998
  • R.D., Polytechnic Institute, Barcelona, Nutrition, 1989
  • M.A., École des Hautes Études en Sciences Sociales (EHESS), Social Anthropology & Ethnology, Paris, 1992
  • Ph.D., EHESS, Social Anthropology & Ethnology, 1996
  • Ph.D., University of Barcelona with credits from University of California, Berkeley, Sociology, 1997
  • MPH, Harvard School of Public Health, International Health, 1998

Academic Experience

  • Samuel Z. Stone Chair of Public Health in Latin America, Tulane University, 2013-
  • Associate Professor of Global Health and Social Medicine Harvard Medical School, Department of Global Health and Social Medicine, 2011-2012
  • Assistant Professor of Social Medicine Harvard Medical School, Department of Global Health and Social Medicine, 2004-11
  • Instructor in Medical Anthropology, Harvard Medical School, Department of Global Health and Social Medicine, 2001-04

Research & Teaching Specializations: Infectious disease, women's health, primary health care in low-and middle-income settings, social inequality, health policy, medical anthropology, Latin America and the Caribbean.

Related Experience

  • Consultant, World Bank, 2013-
    Consultant, UNDP Regional Center for Latin America and The Caribbean
  • Consultant, UNICEF, 2007- (intermittent)
  • Consultant, Pan American Health Organization, 2001-2011 (intermittent)
  • Medical Anthropologist, Division of Global Health Equity, Dept. Medicine, Brigham and Women's Hospital, Boston, 2004-2012
  • Secretary-Treasurer, Society for Medical Anthropology, American Anthropological Association, 2003-06
  • Mexico and Guatemala Projects Director, Partners In Health, Boston, 2001-08
  • Chair, Critical Anthropology of Health Caucus, Society for Medical Anthropology, 1998-2002

Distinctions

  • Fellow, Society for Applied Anthropology, 2012
  • Guggenheim Fellowship, Medicine and Health, United States and Canada Competition, 2010
  • Burke Global Health Fellowship, Harvard Initiative for Global Health, 2009
  • Bacardi Family Eminent Scholar Chair in Latin American Studies, University of Florida, Gainesville, 2009
  • Rudolf Virchow Award, Professional Prize, Critical Anthropology of Health Caucus, Society for Medical Anthropology, American Anthropological Association, 2005
  • Dean's Letter, Excellence in Teaching (Freshman seminar), Faculty of Arts and Sciences, Harvard University, 2005
  • Conmemorative Medal for the Centenary of Professor Pedro Kourí. Institute of Tropical Medicine Pedro Kourí. Havana, Cuba, 2001

Languages: English, Spanish, French, Catalan, Portuguese, Haitian Creole (basic)

Selected Publications

  • 2013. "Health insurance for the poor decreases access to HIV testing in antenatal care: Evidence of an unintended effect of health insurance reform in Colombia." With Allison Ettenger and Till Bärnighausen. Health Policy and Planning 1-7; doi: 10.1093/heapol/czt021
  • 2012. “Quality of Life of People with HIV/AIDS Receiving Antiretroviral Therapy in Cuba: A Cross-Sectional Study of the National Population.” With Carlos Aragonés-López, Jorge Pérez-Ávila, and Mary C. Smith Fawzi. American Journal of Public Health 102(5):884-892.
  • 2011. Análisis Regional Consolidado de los Informes UNGASS Presentados por 17 Países de América Latina en 2011. Panama: UNAIDS Regional Support Team for Latin America.
  • 2011. "En estado de buena esperanza: Análisis de la experiencia reproductiva en mujeres con VIH en Cuba." In Jesús Armando Haro (ed.) El planteamiento de una epidemiología sociocultural: Un diálogo en torno a su sentido, métodos y alcances. Buenos Aires: Lugar Editorial and El Colegio de Sonora.
  • 2010. "Social Inequalities and Dengue Transmission in Latin America." With Yasmin Khawja and James Johnston. In Plagues and Epidemics: Infected Spaces Past and Present. Eds. Ann Herring and Alan Swedlund. New York, Oxford: Berg Publishers, pp. 231-249.
  • 2009. (Ed.) Challenges Posed by the HIV Epidemic in Latin America and the Caribbean 2009. Washington, DC: Pan American Health Organization, UNICEF, and UNAIDS.
  • 2009. "Prevention of Mother-to-Child Transmission of HIV and Syphilis in Latin America and the Caribbean," in Challenges Posed by the HIV Epidemic in Latin America and the Caribbean 2009. Washington, DC: Pan American Health Organization, UNICEF, and UNAIDS.
  • 2004. (Ed.) Unhealthy Health Policy: A Critical Anthropological Examination. With Merrill Singer. Walnut Creek, CA: Altamira Press.

Recently-Taught Latin American-Related Courses: Health & Inequality in Latin America; Public Health in Cuba

Number of Dissertations or Theses Supervised in the Past 5 Years: 5

Class:
School:

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Upcoming Events

Noon-Time Talk on Behind Closed Doors, Art in the Spanish American Home, 1492-1898 with Lucia Abramovic

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Join Lucia Abramovich, NOMA's curatorial fellow for Spanish colonial art for a Noontime Talk on the exhibition Behind Closed Doors, Art in the Spanish American Home, 1492-1898.

Noontime Talks are brief, informative discussions on exhibitions and installations in NOMA's galleries. Wednesdays are free admission days for Louisiana residents. Please visit the NOMA website for more information.

MARI Brown Bag: Marcello Canuto, "The Tombs of La Corona: La Noblesse Oblige"

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Marcello Canuto, Director of the Middle American Research Institute at Tulane University, will present about his recent investigations at La Corona. The talk will focus on tombs discovered during the 2014 field season and the information these tombs provides about the broader socio-political relationships at La Corona.

M.A.R.I.'s Brown Bag talk series is meant to provide a venue for students and faculty focusing on topics related to Mesoamerica to discuss their latest research in an informal and friendly setting. If you are interested in presenting, please email Marcello Canuto (mcanuto@tulane.edu) for more information. For the current speaker list of this talk series, please click here.

Please remember to bring your lunch!

Mining, Privilege, and Artistic Production in the Colonial Andes: Short Film and Roundtable Discussion

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This program includes a screening of Harun Farocki's film The Silver and the Cross (20 min), which examines a 1758 painting by Gaspar Miguel de Berrío that depicts the city and the surrounding silver mines of Potosí, Bolivia. A roundtable discussion featuring three local scholars of Colonial Latin America will follow the film. The discussion will employ the film's description of colonial Potosí as an anchor for a broader discussion about colonial Andean economics, history, and art, particularly as it relates to Behind Closed Doors: Art in the Spanish American Home, 1492-1898.

The goal of this event is to better understand the mechanisms that created the level of wealth exhibited in Behind Closed Doors, and to shed light on an often overlooked city that was essential to the economic success of Spanish America for hundreds of years.

The roundtable discussants are Dr. Kris Lane, the France V. Scholes Professor of Colonial Latin American History, Department of History, Tulane University; Dr. John Charles, Associate Professor of Colonial Spanish American Literature and Director of Graduate Studies, Spanish and Portuguese Department, Tulane University; and Dr. Ari Zighelboim, Lecturer, Spanish and Portuguese Department, Tulane University. Lucia Abramovich, NOMA's Curatorial Fellow for Spanish Colonial Art, will moderate the discussion.

About Dr. Kris Lane
Kris Lane holds the France V. Scholes Chair in Colonial Latin American History at Tulane University. His books include Quito 1599: City & Colony in Transition, Colour of Paradise: The Emerald in the Age of Gunpowder Empires, and Pillaging the Empire: Piracy in the Americas, 1500-1750. He is currently writing a history of the great Potosí mint scandal of 1649, along with an annotated translation of early writings on Potosí.

About Dr. John Charles
John Charles is Associate Professor in the Department of Spanish and Portuguese at Tulane University. He is the author of numerous articles on colonial Andean literature and history, and the book Allies at Odds: The Andean Church and Its Indigenous Agents, 1583-1671 (University of New Mexico Press, 2010).

About Dr. Ari Zighelboim
Ari Zighelboim (Lima, 1960) studied in Peru, Israel and the United States, graduating with a Bachelor's degree in history and East Asian studies, an MA in cultural anthropology and a PhD in Spanish and Latin American literature. His masters paper dealt with scenes of human sacrifice on mountains in Moche iconography, and his PhD thesis with the surviving Inca nobility during the colonial period in Peru and its cultural and social strategies. He has written about Ruben Dario, Juan de Espinosa Medrano, the drama in Quechua Ollantay, Potosí and other topics. He has also published a volume of poetry. He is now senior lecturer in the department of Spanish and Portuguese at Tulane university.

Reimagining Race, Class, and Identity in the New World

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Assistant Professor Mia Bagneris will lecture on "Reimagining Race, Class, and Identity in the New World," on Friday, September 12 at 6pm at the New Orleans Museum of Art. The lecture will be held in conjunction with the exhibit, Behind Closed Doors: Art in the Spanish American Home, 1492-1898.

Professor Bagneris teaches African American/Diaspora art history and studies of race in Western Art. Her own work concentrates on the construction of race in British and American art and visual culture of the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries.

Performance by Afro-Cuban band Sintesis

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The Cuban and Caribbean Institute presents: Sintesis

Afro-Cuban group Sintesis, founded in 1974 by Carlos Alfonso Valdes, is one of Cuba's musical emblems. The contemporary band has elements of ethno-fusion rhythms mixed with a core of jazz and rock and roll. In the 1980's, Sintesis grew in popularity, and by mid-late decade, the band was a staple of world music festivals. In 1989, they released their first album "Ancestros," and since then have released many more. Their album "Habana a Flor de Piel" was nominated for a Latin Grammy Award in the category of Best Contemporary Tropical Album in 2002.

All are welcome to attend.

Guantánamo Post-9/11: Human Rights & Constitutional Law in Modern America

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Guantánamo Post-9/11: Human Rights & Constitutional Law in Modern America

Guest speakers:
Jess Bravin: Wall Street Journal, author of Terror Courts: Rough Justice at Guantánamo Bay
Denny Leboeuf: ACLU, Tulane JD
Chaplain James Yee: Former U.S. Army Chaplain, author of For God and Country: Faith and Patriotism Under Fire

The Guantánamo Public Memory Project is a traveling exhibit that examines the history of the U.S. naval base in Guantánamo Bay, Cuba, from multiple perspectives and raises questions about U.S.-Cuban relations, civil liberties, national security, and public memory in the past, present, and future. The guest speakers will be giving a talk on the titled event. All are welcome to attend.

For more information about the Guantánamo Public Memory Project, visit http://gitmomemory.org.