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Dr. Lydia Z. Dixon (CSU, Channel Islands), a UChicago alumna and 2002 Human Rights Intern, will discuss her new book, Delivering Health: Midwifery and Development in Mexico, with Pozen Center Postdoctoral Instructor Amy Krauss. We’ll be raffling off copies of the book! Just RSVP and join us on Zoom for your chance to secure a copy.

About the Book: In Delivering Health, Dr. Dixon uncovers the ways maternal health outcomes have been shaped by broader historical, political, and social factors in Mexico, through the perspectives of those who are at the front lines fighting for change: midwives. Midwives have long been marginalized in Mexico as remnants of the country’s precolonial past, yet Dixon shows how they are now strategically positioning themselves as agents of modernity and development. Midwifery education programs have popped up across Mexico, each with their own critique of the health care system and vision for how midwifery can help.

From San Miguel de Allende to Oaxaca to Michoacán and points between, Dixon takes us into the classrooms, clinics, and conferences where questions of what it means to provide good reproductive health care are being taught, challenged, and implemented. Through interviews, observational data, and even student artwork, we are shown how underlying inequality manifests in poor care for many Mexican women. The midwives in this book argue that they can improve care while also addressing this inequality. Ultimately, Delivering Health asks us to consider the possibility that marginalized actors like midwives may hold the solution to widespread concerns in health.

About the Author: Lydia Zacher Dixon is currently an assistant professor of Health Sciences at California State University, Channel Islands, where she teaches courses on medical ethics, research methods, and community health. Her scholarship focuses on reproductive health and social inequality in Mexico and the United States.

Dr. Dixon’s longstanding commitment to these fields was originally spurred by her experiences as a 2002 recipient of a Pozen Center Human Rights Internship, which she received while completing her BA in Gender Studies with a minor in Latin American Studies at UChicago. Her internship took her to a midwifery school in central Mexico, where she began to learn about the challenges facing midwives and the clients and communities they served nationwide. That initial three-month internship led to five years of working with and building relationships with various women’s health organizations in communities across Mexico and the United States. She holds a PhD in Anthropology from the University of California, Irvine and has published extensively on midwifery education, obstetric violence, and childbirth. 

Presented in partnership with the Center for Latin American Studies, the Katz Center for Mexican Studies, the Center for the Study of Gender and Sexuality, and the Seminary Co-op Bookstores.