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Faculty Profile

Amalia Pesantes Villa

Assistant Professor of Anthropology (2020)

Contact Information

pesantma@dickinson.edu

Denny Hall Room 14

Bio

I received my Ph.D. in Medical Anthropology and M.P.H. from the University of Pittsburgh in 2014. I also have a Master's degree in International Development from Clark University. My research looks at health inequalities among vulnerable populations. I study the challenges faced by Indigenous people to access culturally-appropriate health care and to have their medical traditions recognized and incorporated into state health services. I also conduct research about the experiences and health needs of underserved populations with chronic conditions. I am especially interested in research that can contribute to designing better strategies to improve healthcare access for people with diabetes and hypertension in low and middle income countries.

Education

  • B.A., Pontificia Universidad Católica del Perú, 2000
  • M.A., Clark University, 2005
  • M.P.H., University of Pittsburgh, 2014
  • Ph.D., 2014

2023-2024 Academic Year

Fall 2023

ANTH 242 Rsch Methods in Global Health
This course introduces students to different methodological approaches used in global health to understand health needs in the global south and design appropriate interventions to address them. Through readings and discussions about the theoretical underpinnings of qualitative and quantitative research students will learn the different ways in which each approach contributes to understanding a health problem and developing solutions, with a special emphasis on the growing role of anthropological perspectives in conducting socially relevant and context appropriate global health research. Pre-requisites: ANTH 100 or 110 (ARCH 110) or 101 or 216 or permission of instructor.

ANTH 400 Senior Colloquium
Offered every fall semester, senior anthropology majors will meet to learn about professional career opportunities in anthropology as well as a write a research paper that incorporates primary sources in anthropological writing and/or original anthropological scholarship involving fieldwork or laboratory research.Prerequisite: Research in Anthropology course.

ANTH 500 Independent Study

Spring 2024

ANTH 101 Intro to Cultural Anthropology
This course is a comprehensive introduction to how cultural anthropologists study culture and society in diverse contexts. We will use ethnographic case studies from across the world to examine the ways people experience and transform social relationships and culture in areas including families, gender, ethnicity, health, religion, exchange, science, and even what it means to be a person. We will examine how culture and society are embedded within, shape, and are shaped by forces of economics, politics, and environment. Offered every semester.

ANTH 216 Medical Anthropology
Comparative analysis of health, illness, and nutrition within environmental and socio-cultural contexts. Evolution and geographical distribution of disease, how different societies have learned to cope with illness, and the ways traditional and modern medical systems interact. Offered every other year.

ANTH 345 Anthro of Learn, Know & Ed
Cross-listed with EDST 391-03. How do humans learn? How does cultural transmission occur in different parts of the world? What role has education played in identity formation, cultural eradication, and resistance? Education, broadly defined, takes place in both formal and informal settings, it occurs across generations and across the lifetime of individuals, it shapes our minds and our bodies. This class aims to introduce students to issues and approaches relevant to the study of education from an anthropological perspective. We will learn about anthropological concepts, and methods to document and analyze education, schooling, and cultural transmission. We will also learn about the role of anthropology in applied educational processes. Using ethnographic material from different parts of the world, we will discuss the relationship between education and identity, resistance, accommodation, and knowledge-production. We will specifically focus on the way in which education was used to control and assimilate indigenous populations, and how Indigenous people today are using education as a decolonizing tool, and the role that anthropologists can play in supporting these efforts.

EDST 391 Anthro of Learn, Know & Ed
Cross-listed with ANTH 345-01. How do humans learn? How does cultural transmission occur in different parts of the world? What role has education played in identity formation, cultural eradication, and resistance? Education, broadly defined, takes place in both formal and informal settings, it occurs across generations and across the lifetime of individuals, it shapes our minds and our bodies. This class aims to introduce students to issues and approaches relevant to the study of education from an anthropological perspective. We will learn about anthropological concepts, and methods to document and analyze education, schooling, and cultural transmission. We will also learn about the role of anthropology in applied educational processes. Using ethnographic material from different parts of the world, we will discuss the relationship between education and identity, resistance, accommodation, and knowledge-production. We will specifically focus on the way in which education was used to control and assimilate indigenous populations, and how Indigenous people today are using education as a decolonizing tool, and the role that anthropologists can play in supporting these efforts.

ANTH 495 Senior Thesis
Senior anthropology majors who qualify with a cumulative GPA of 3.6 or higher by the end of the junior year can take this course during the spring semester of their senior year. This course involves writing a senior thesis based on original fieldwork or laboratory research and used to determine departmental honors. Prerequisite: ANTH 400.