Profile picture of Kristin Yarris

Kristin Yarris

Associate Professor, Global Studies and Women's, Gender & Sexuality Studies
Global Studies
Phone: 541-346-1363
Office: 313 PLC
Office Hours: Fall 2023: 4-5pm PST Wednesdays *in Teams*
Research Interests: transnational migration, immigrant rights, social movements, mental health, health equity, wellbeing & social care


PhD Sociocultural Anthropology, UCLA 2011
MA Anthropology, UCLA 2008
MPH Community Health Sciences, UCLA 2004
MA Latin American Studies, UCLA 2004


I have two primary areas of research interest: transnational migration and global mental health. An initial major research project explores the impacts of mother migration for families in migrant sending countries; particularly, this work examines the role of grandmothers as caregivers in Nicaraguan transnational families. In my book, Care Across Generations: Solidarity and Sacrifice in Transnational Families (Stanford University Press, 2017), I show how intergenerational caregiving not only reflects gendered and political-economic constraints but also generates strong ties of solidarity across borders and over time in the face of the uncertainty and disruption of transnational migration. In a second major research project, funded by the Wenner Gren Foundation for Anthropological Research, I worked with colleagues at the Universidad Autónoma de Sinaloa and the University of South Florida to study the impacts of transit migration through Mexico (Central American migration and forced return or deportation from the U.S.) for responses of the Mexican state, civil society, and local communities. A third active research project, also in Mexico, is a study of psychiatry, culture, and care in shaping the illness experiences of people living with diagnoses of schizophrenia and other major mental health challenges. [This work emerges out of my involvment as a Faculty Mentor with the Latino Mental Health Research Training Program (] With UO graduate students, during the summer of 2017, we conducted interviews with local volunteers in refugee resettlement and immigrant integration networks in Oregon; this project examines local humanitarianism or how people are fostering welcoming communities in a hostile political era. In a new, interdisciplinary collaboration, I am working with Mary Wood (UO English) and a team of undergraduates in the UO medical humanities research group to examine mid-20th century American psychiatry through a case study of the Morningside Hospital, which operated in Portland from 1903-1963.

Areas of Interest: Global health and global mental health; medical & psychiatric anthropology; transnational migration, migrants, and refugees; humanitarianism and solidarity; gender, care, and caregiving; Nicaragua, México, Latin America.


INTL 340 Global Health & Development

INTL 463/563 Population Displacement & Global Health

INTL 465/565 Global Reproductive Health

INTL 410/510 Global Mental Health

INTL 410/510 Transnational Migration

CHC (Wi 2014) Suffering, Violence & Healing: Critical and Cross-Cultural Perspectives

My teaching broadly addresses the political-economic and social-cultural determinants of health and the relationship between population health and (uneven) development processes in contemporary global contexts. Whether in large lectures or smaller seminar courses, my aim as a teacher is to have my students engage critically with social theory and with contemporary case studies in global health, mental health and health disparities. My students have conducted research on reproductive health in Nicaragua, explanatory models of diabetes in Mexico, host mothers in student exchange programs in Costa Rica, undocumented university students in the U.S., and trafficking of domestic workers in Malaysia; for their research, they have won awards from the UO Center for the Study of Women in Society, Center for Latino/a and Latin American Studies, and the Department of Anthropology, among other recognitions. They have gone on to apply to graduate programs in public health and social medicine, academic programs in medical anthropology and cross-cultural psychology, and onto careers in academia, as well as professional positions in international development, global health, and local community service.