Jennah Thompson-Vasquez

Jennah Thompson-Vasquez

Research Interests

  • Biomedical subjectivities, pregnancy, birth work, gender, Black feminism, agency, carcerality/the carceral state, reproductive justice, oral histories.

Subfield: Cultural Anthropology

Jennah Thompson-Vasquez (she/they) is a PhD student in Cultural Anthropology. She holds a B.A. in Anthropology and Latinx Studies from Northwestern University. They are interested in questions around biomedical subjectivities during pregnancy and labor for marginalized women. Particularly, she wants to focus on the everyday agency and alternative means to finding care that mothers may seek out when they have had poor experiences with healthcare and healthcare professionals in the past. She hopes to center oral histories and family traditions, the support of doulas and traditional midwives, as well as other individual and community-based practices that serve to support mothers through their pregnancy and postpartum period. Jennah is also interested in birth within the carceral state and how previously incarcerated women navigate their pregnancy once they are on the outside. They are interested in how the experience of incarceration impacts the mother-to-be and how they demonstrate agency and bodily autonomy after previously having none as wards of the state. With this, she is also interested in programs that offer currently incarcerated women the opportunity to train and become doulas.