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College of Liberal and Fine Arts

K. Jill Fleuriet, Ph.D.

Professor, Associate Dean of the Honors College

Department of Anthropology

Research area: Cultural Anthropology

Email: jill.fleuriet@utsa.edu

Phone: (210) 458-5721

Office: MH 4.03.22

Research in Progress

I am a medical and cultural anthropologist of and from the U.S.-Mexico borderlands. My shorter-term applied projects also extend into San Antonio, Texas. My body of work engages central questions in medical anthropological research: how and why cultural practices, discourses, and structures shape health outcomes and health care experiences. I draw from theories of structural violence and social suffering as well as feminist and borderlands theories of intersectionality. I integrate the idea of borderlands as productive, creative spaces within a broad political economy framework to understand the ways in which geopolitical borders and definitions of citizenship shape well-being of these regions. I use intersectionality in several ways: as a means by which to understand how and why people foreground different identities during sickness, healing, and health care; how these identities interact, or ‘intersect,’ to produce differential mortality, morbidity, and wellness patterns; and how cultural practices reinforce, reproduce, or resist assumptions about certain identities. In sum, I am deeply interested in how people can and do move through their worlds to be well.

I place my work at the crossroads of theoretical and engaged anthropology. My primary research projects revolve around health inequalities in the U.S.-Mexico borderlands, cultural discourses of these borderlands, care/giving in the United States, and the application of anthropology to improve programming and assessment in local efforts to improve well-being. In my current book project in the borderlands of South Texas, I employ a discursive, comparative analysis of place-making of the U.S.-Mexico borderlands by national political actors, the news media and local borderland leaders. My work in reproductive health and health care is interdisciplinary with sociology, and I collaborate with community organizations on programming to improve the health and well-being of vulnerable populations. Rebecca Galemba (U Denver), Nikky Greer (Temple U), and Sallie Han (SUNY - Oneonta), and I are conducting web-based research on carework/giving experiences among academic anthropologists as part of our larger Carework in the Academy initiative in the American Anthropological Association.

Find more at Dr. Fleuriet's website.

Honors and awards: Fellow of The University of Texas system Academy of Distinguished Teachers, Member of UTSA Academy of Distinguished Teaching Scholars, UT System Regents Outstanding Teaching Award, UTSA President's Distinguished Achievement for Community Engagement, UTSA President's Distinguished Achievement for Excellence in Teaching, UTSA President's Distinguished Achievement for Excellence in University Service, Richard S. Howe Outstanding Undergraduate Teaching Award.


Ph.D., Stanford University, 2003


At the undergraduate level, I teach across levels, including Introduction to Anthropology, Introduction to Cultural Anthropology, The Field Experience, Medical Anthropology, Applied Anthropology, and Death & Dying. I have designed and led three distinct research and/or service learning study abroads in Mexico and Costa Rica. At the graduate level, I teach Medical Anthropology, Theory in Cultural Anthropology, Anthropology of Gender, Anthropology of the Body, and Teaching Anthropology. I advise students conducting research in medical anthropology, immigration, belonging, social justice and community-based movements in South Texas.

Prospective students: I am currently accepting MA and doctoral students. I am especially interested in applicants whose proposed research focuses on one or more of the following areas: U.S-Mexico borderlands, northern Mexico, and the South Texas region; gender, carework/giving, and reproduction; well-being; health inequalities; chronic illness; aging; and applied medical anthropology.

Current Ph.D. student: Jess Reid
Current MA students: Amanda Gagliano, Jasmine Harmon, Howard Boutelle

Representative Publications

Fleuriet, K. Jill. Rhetoric and Reality on the U.S.-Mexico Border: Place, Politics, Home. Under Contract with Palgrave MacMillan, to be published March 2021.

Fleuriet, K. Jill and Mari Castellano. 2020. “The U.S.-Mexico Border as Concept-Metaphor during the Rise of Donald Trump.” Media, Culture & Society 42(6):880-897.

Fleuriet, K. Jill, and Trevor Chauvin. 2018. “‘Living Other Lives’: The Impact of Senior Theatre on Older Adult Wellbeing.” Journal of Applied Arts and Health 9(1):37-51.

Fleuriet, K. Jill and Thankam Sunil. 2018. “The Latina Birth Weight Paradox: The Role of Subjective Social Status.” Journal of Racial and Ethnic Health Disparities 5(4):747-757. (Published Online, 2017)

Cantu, Adelita G. and K. Jill Fleuriet. 2018.  “’Making the Ordinary More Extraordinary’: Exploring Creativity as a Health Promotion Practice Among Older Adults in a Community-Based Professionally-Taught Arts Program.” Journal of Holistic Nursing 36(2):123-133. (Published Online, 2017)

Fleuriet, K. Jill & Heide Castañeda. 2017. “A Risky Place? Media and the Health Landscape in the (In)secure U.S.-Mexico Borderlands.” North American Dialogue (Journal for the Society for North American Anthropology) 20(2):32-46.


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Main Office: MH 4.03.38

Department of Anthropology

University of Texas at San Antonio

College of Liberal and Fine Arts

One UTSA Circle

San Antonio, TX 78249-1644