Seth M. Holmes, PhD, MD, is a cultural and medical anthropologist and physician whose work focuses broadly on social hierarchies, health inequities, and the ways in which such asymmetries are naturalized, normalized, and resisted in the context of transnational im/migration, agro-food systems, and health care.
• Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Health & Society Scholar, Columbia University
• Fellow, Department of Global Health and Social Medicine, Harvard University
• Fellow, Department of Anthropology and Division of Medical Humanities, University of Rochester
• Intern and Resident, Department of Medicine, Physician Scientist Pathway, University of Pennsylvania
• Ph.D., Medical Anthropology, UC Berkeley and UC San Francisco
• M.D., School of Medicine, UC San Francisco
• B.S., Ecology, Evolution, Conservation Biology; Minor: Spanish, University of Washington
Medical anthropology, transnational im/migration and refugeeism, critical food studies, racialization and racism, gender and queer studies, the naturalization and normalization of social and health inequalities, Latin America, the United States, and Europe
- Fresh Fruit, Broken Bodies
This project investigates social hierarchies, health, health care and the naturalization and normalization of difference and inequality in the context of US-Mexico im/migration and transnational agro-food systems. This project led to the publication of the book, Fresh Fruit, Broken Bodies: Migrant Farmworkers in the United Status (California Series in Public Anthropology, University of California Press, 2013).
- Training for Unequal Care
This project explores the production of the medical habitus and clinical gaze, in other words, the processes through which biomedical trainees learn to perceive and respond to social differences and inequalities. This research led to the publication of a special issue focused of Culture, Medicine, Psychiatry on the anthropologies of contemporary clinical training.
- Producing Refugees, Crisis, and Europe
This research elucidates the representations of and responses to refugees in Europe. This project led to the publication of a virtual issue of American Ethnologist focused on refugees and im/migrants.
- Growing Up Transborder
This project engages the social, symbolic, and political processes through which indigenous Mexican im/migrant youth in California navigate and challenge ethnic hierarchies at school and in farm work, multi-layered citizenship, understandings of indigeneity, political and social borders, and multiple forms of violence. This project involves ethnographic field work and a collaborative documentary film.
- Structural Competency
The "Rad Med" Structural Competency Working Group is engaged in imagining and experimenting with alternatives to the current systems of health care and racialized policing in the U.S. An offshoot related to this project, The First Nationwide Survey of MD-PhDs in the Social Sciences and Humanities, analyzes training patterns and career choices of jointly trained physician-scholars in these fields.
Holmes SM. Fresh Fruit, Broken Bodies: Migrant Farmworkers in the United States. (California Series in Public Anthropology) University of California Press. 2013.
[Holmes SM. 2016. Fresh Fruit, Broken Bodies: Migrant Farmworkers in the United States. Unabridged Audio Book. Recorded by Paul Costanzo. Old Saybrook, CT: Tantor Audio. ]
[Holmes, SM. 2016. Fruta Fresca, Cuerpos Marchitos: Trabajadores Agrícolas Migrantes en Estados Unidos y México. Editorial Abya Yala. Quito, Ecuador.]
- Edited Volumes
*Castaneda H, *Holmes SM, *Kallius A, *Monterescu D. Virtual Issue: Refugees and Im/migrants. American Ethnologist. May 25, 2016. *Equal editorship.
Hansen H, Holmes SM, and Lindemann D, eds. Ethnography of Health for Social Change. Social Science & Medicine. 2012; Dec; 99.
Holmes SM, Jenks A, and Stonington S, eds. Anthropologies of Contemporary Clinical Training. Culture, Medicine and Psychiatry. 2011; 35(2).
Stonington S, Holmes SM, eds. Social Medicine in the Twenty-First Century. Public Library of Science Medicine. 2006; 3(20):e455.
Holmes SM. “Marking Pre-emptive Suspects: Migration, Bodies and Exclusion.” Latin American Perspectives. 2018.
Neff J, Knight K, Satterwhite S, Nelson N, Matthews J, Holmes SM. “Teaching Structure: A Qualitative Evaluation of a Structural Competency Training for Resident Physicians.” Journal of General Internal Medicine. 2017; 32:430-433.
Holmes SM, Karlin J, Stonington S, Gottheil D. “The First National Survey of MD/PhDs in the Social Sciences and Humanities.” BMC Medical Education. 2017.
Bourgois P, Holmes SM, Sue K, Quesada J. “Structural Vulnerability: Operationalizing the Concept to Address Health Disparities in Clinical Care." Academic Medicine. 2017; 92(3):299-307.
Holmes SM, Castaneda H. “The European Refugee Crisis: Difference, Deservingness, Life and Death.” American Ethnologist.2016; 43(1):1-13.
*Castaneda H., *Holmes SM, *Kallius A, *Monterescu D. “Anthropology and Human Displacement: Mobilities, Ex/Inclusions and Activism.” American Ethnologist. 2016. *Equal authorship, listed alphabetically.
Castaneda H*, Holmes SM*, Beyeler N, Madrigal D, Young M, Quesada J. “Immigration as a Social Determinant of Health.” Annual Review of Public Health. 2015; 36: 375-392. *Co-first authors.
Holmes SM, Green, J, Stonington S. “Locating Global Health in Social Medicine.” Global Public Health. 2014: 13:9(5):475-80.
Holmes SM. “Is It Worth Risking Your Life?: Ethnography, Risk and Death on the U.S.-Mexico Border.” Social Science & Medicine. 2013; 99: 153-161.
Hansen H, Holmes SM, and Lindemann D, eds. “Ethnography of Health for Social Change: Impact on Public Policy and Perception.” Social Science & Medicine. 2013; 99:116-8.
Martin E, Litchfield G, Parvez F, Lindemann D, Holmes SM, Hansen H. “Enhancing the Public Impact of Ethnography.” Social Science & Medicine. 2013; 99:205-8.
Holmes SM. "The Clinical Gaze in the Practice of Migrant Health: Mexican Migrants in the United States." Social Science & Medicine. 2012; 74(6) : 873-881.
Holmes SM. "Structural Vulnerability and Hierarchies of Ethnicity and Citizenship on the Farm." Medical Anthropology. 2011; 30(4):425-49.
Holmes SM. "Anthropology and Its Contact Zones." Kroeber Anthropological Society Papers. 2011; 100(1):5-7.
Holmes SM, Jenks AC, Stonington S. "Clinical subjectivation: anthropologies of contemporary biomedical training." Culture, Medicine and Psychiatry. 2011; 35(2):105-12.
Holmes SM and Ponte M. "En-case-ing the Patient: Disciplining Uncertainty in Medical Student Patient Presentations." Culture, Medicine and Psychiatry. 2011; 35(2):163-82.
Holmes SM. "Oaxacans Like to Work Bent Over: The Naturalization of Social Suffering Among Berry Farm Workers." International Migration. 2007; 45(3):39-68.
Holmes SM. "Parce qu'ils sont plus pres sol: L'invisibilisation de la souffrance sociale des cueilleurs de baies." Actes de Recherche en Sciences Sociales. 2006; 165(2):28-51.
Holmes SM. "An Ethnographic Study of the Social Context of Migrant Health in the United States." Public Library of Science Medicine. 2006; 3(10):e448.
Holtz T, Holmes SM, Stonington S, Eisenberg L. "Health is Still Social: Contemporary Examples in the Age of the Genome." Public Library of Science Medicine. 2006; 3(10):e419.
Stonington S, Holmes SM. "Social Medicine in the Twenty-First Century." Public Library of Science Medicine. 2006; 3(20):e455.
- Book Chapters
Holmes SM, Castaneda H. “Ethnographic Methods in Migration and Health Research.” In Schenker M, Castaneda X., eds. Migration and Health Research Methodologies. University of California Press. 2014.
- Selected Other Publications
Holmes, SM. “Discussing ‘Suffering Slot Anthropology’ with Migrant Farm Workers.” Anthropology News. 2016; 57(11-12):52-53.
Holmes SM, Castaneda H, Burrell J. “American Politicians’ Reactions to Refugees Echo Past Xenophobia: Which Side of History Do We Want to Be on?” November 11, 2015. Huffington Post.
Holmes, S.M. "Health Care and the Stalling of Immigration Reform." Huffington Post. January 8, 2014.
Holmes, S.M. “The danger of U.S. border control policy.” Access Denied. August 15, 2013.
Holmes, S.M. “Opinion: What we learn from the indigenous farmworkers strike in Washington.” El Hispanic News. August 1, 2013.
Holmes, S.M. “Not all migrants want to be immigrants.” Salon. July 6, 2013.
Holmes, S.M. “Border protection decision may increase border deaths.” New American Media. June 25, 2013.
Holmes SM, “Don’t Misrepresent the Triqui.” Monterey County Herald, 2009, Jan. 29.
Holmes SM, “Media Representations of Triqui Marriage Unjust.” Salinas Californian, 2009, Jan. 24.
- Rudolf Virchow Award, Critical Anthropology of Global Health Caucus, Society for Medical Anthropology (2007)
- New Millennium Book Award, Society for Medical Anthropology (2013)
- Society for the Anthropology of Work Book Award, American Anthropological Association (2013)
- Association for Humanist Sociology Book Award (2014)
- Out for Sustainability Award, Out for Sustainability (2014)
- Margaret Mead Award, Society for Applied Anthropology and American Anthropological Assocation (2014)
- James M. Blaut Award, Cultural and Political Ecology Specialty Group, Association of American Geographers (2015)
- Robert B. Textor and Family Prize for Excellence in Anticipatory Anthropology, American Anthropological Association (2016)
- William T. Grant Scholar, William T. Grant Foundation (2017-2022)
- Queer Health
- Structural Competency: Confronting Inequity in Health and Well-being
- Migration in the Contemporary World
- Health, Medicine, Society and Environment
- Ethnography: Theory and Method
- Selected Reviews
Stephen, L. “Mexican indigenous migrants in the United States: Labor, politics, culture, and transforming identities.” Migration Studies. 2015, 3(2):281-91.
Garcia, JD. “Fresh Fruit, Broken Bodies: Migrant Farmworkers in the United States.” Latino Studies. 2015, 13(3):437-9.
Rosales, R. “Fresh Fruit, Broken Bodies: Migrant Farmworkers in the United States.” Contemporary Sociology. 2015, 44:517-9.
Horton, S. “Fresh Fruit, Broken Bodies: Migrant Farmworkers in the United States.” Medical Anthropology Quarterly. 2015, 29(2):b13-6.
Gates, M. “Fresh Fruit, Broken Bodies: Migrant Farm Workers in the United States.” New York Journal of Books. June 19, 2013.
Dudley, K. “Review of Fresh Fruit, Broken Bodies: Migrant Farmworkers in the United States.” American Ethnologist. (2014). Volume 41, Issue 4.
Minkoff-Zern, L. "Review of Fresh Fruit, Broken Bodies." Antipode: A Journal of Radical Geography. July 2013.
Benson, P. “Seth Holmes’ Fresh Fruit, Broken Bodies.” October 16, 2013. Somatosphere.
Rodlach, A. “Seth M. Holmes: Fresh Fruit, Broken Bodies: Migrant Farmworkers in the United States.” Anthropos. (2014). Volume 109, pp. 99-100.
Saxton, D.I. “Seth M. Holmes: Fresh Fruit, Broken Bodies: Migrant Farmworkers in the United States.” Human Ecology. (2014). Volume 42, Issue 1, pp 163-165.
Loucky, J. "Fresh Fruit, Broken Bodies: Migrant Farmworkers in the United States. By Seth M. Holmes," American Journal of Human Biology. February 4, 2014
Du Bry, T. “Fresh Fruit, Broken Bodies: Migrant Farmworkers in the United States.” Global Public Health. (2014). 9:3, 364-365.
Guthman, J. “Fresh Fruit, Broken Bodies: Migrant Farmworkers in the United States by Seth M. Holmes.” Agriculture and Human Values. (2014.) 31:2, 331-332.
Orr, D. “Fresh Fruit, Broken Bodies: Migrant Farmworkers in the United States.” Anthropology in Action. (2014). 21:1, 47-51.
Gamlin, J. “Fresh Fruit, Broken Bodies: Migrant Farmworkers in the United States.” Anthropology & Medicine. (2014). 21(3):358-60.
Gonzales, M. “Fruits of oppression: Plight of migrant farmworkers at center of Fresh Fruit, Broken Bodies.” National Catholic Reporter. August 28, 2013.
Ealy, C. “An inside look at the lives of migrant farmworkers.” Austin American Statesman. September 21, 2013.
Serious Eats. “Serious reads: four books we’re loving.” Serious Eats. October 2, 2013.
Kearns, R. “Pick Your Poison: Racism Ravaging Health of Indigenous Farmworkers,” Review of Fresh Fruit, Broken Bodies: Migrant Farm Workers in the United States, by Seth M. Holmes. Indian Country Today Media Network. July 18, 2013.
Nestle, M. “Books about food industry work: firsthand.” Food Politics. August 19, 2013.
Marke B. Cover story: “Fieldwork: New book 'Fresh Fruit, Broken Bodies' looks at the sorry state of migrant farmworker health care -- and its larger implications in the global economy.” San Francisco Bay Guardian. December 10, 2013.
Martin, G. “The Fruits of Labor,” Review of Fresh Fruit, Broken Bodies: Migrant Farm Workers in the United States, by Seth M. Holmes. California Magazine. June 10, 2013.
Temkar, A. "New investigations spotlight the work of immigrant laborers as they bring cheap food to American families." Monterey County Weekly. July 18, 2013.
Crossfield, P. “Food Policy Stories that Mattered in 2013.” Civil Eats. December 20, 2013.
Serious Eats, “Gift Guide: Our Favorite Food-Centric Books of the Year.” Serious Eats. December 17, 2013.
Chary, A. “Must Reads: Fresh Fruit, Broken Bodies: Migrant Farm Workers in the United States.” Global Health Hub. October 8, 2013.
Baker, V.L. “Fresh fruit, broken bodies: The human cost of American agriculture.” The Daily Kos. October 20, 2013.
Stackl, V. “Book Review - Fresh Fruit Broken Bodies: Migrant Farmworkers in the United States by Seth Holmes.” Farmworker Justice. November 1, 2013.
Food Chain Workers Alliance, "Review of Fresh Fruit, Broken Bodies." Food Chain Workers Alliance.(n.d.)
- Selected Interviews
Holmes, S.M. and Valdez, L. Interview on La Voz del Pueblo. “Fresh Fruit, Broken Bodies: Discussions of Migrant Farmworkers the week of Cesar Chavez Day.” KBBF. April 1, 2016.
Holmes, S. M. Interview by Monica Campbell. “What’s it like to be a migrant worker? One anthropologist migrated to find out.” PRI The World. February 10, 2015.
Holmes, S.M. and Vasquez Santos, Leoncio. "Today on Your Call: Farm workers and resistance.” KALW. April 15, 2015.
Guthman, J. "Fresh Fruit, Broken Bodies: An interview with Seth Holmes." Gastronomica, Spring 2014.
Holmes, S.M. Interview by Rose Aguilar. "Today on Your Call: What are the stories of migrant farmworkers?" NPR KALW 97.1 in San Francisco. March 20, 2014.
Holmes, S.M. Interview by Ben Teffny. “Crosscurrents: Fresh Fruit, Broken Bodies: The Lives of Migrant Farmworkers.” NPR KALW 97.1 in San Francisco. March 27, 2014.
Holmes, S.M. Interview by Barclay, E. “Why picking your berries for $8,000 a year hurts a lot.” The Salt, National Public Radio. August 9, 2013.
Holmes, S.M. Interview by Moore, J. “Author Interview: Seth Holmes Talks About Farmworkers' ‘Broken Bodies.’" Valley Public Radio. September 3, 2013.
Holmes, S.M. Interview by Myrow, R. “What is the cost of how we farm?” KQED, The California Report, National Public Radio. August 22, 2013.
Holmes, S.M. Interview by Dunn, K. “Fresh Fruit, Broken Bodies.” Wisconsin Public Radio. The Kathleen Dunn Show. August 27, 2013.
Holmes, S.M. Interview. “Fresh Fruit, Broken Bodies.” National Public Radio, KERA Think Texas. September 16, 2013.
Holmes, S.M. Interview by Hemmelgam, M. “Food Sleuth Radio: Interview with Seth Holmes.” PRX Pacifica Radio. July 20, 2014.
Holmes, S.M. Interview by Tom Willey. “Down on the Farm Radio.” KFCF Pacifica Radio. October 31, 2014.
Holmes, S.M. Interview by Sundaram, V. “Q&A Fresh fruit, broken bodies—A doctor’s journey among migrant farmworkers.” New American Media. June 30, 2013.
Holmes, S.M. Interview by Dawson, G. “Fresh fruit, broken bodies: the true cost of our produce.” Modern Farmer. July 19, 2013.
Holmes, S.M. Interview by Bernstein, D. Flashpoints. "Fresh fruit, broken bodies." San Francisco, CA. KPFA, Pacifica Radio. June 25, 2013.
Holmes, S.M. Interview by Philpott, T. “What it’s like to sneak across the boarder to harvest food,” Mother Jones. October 31, 2013.
Holmes, S.M. Interview by McMillan, T. “Fresh Fruit, Broken Bodies: The human cost of American agriculture.” Civil Eats. October 7, 2013.
Holmes, S.M. Interview by Miller, J. “Travels with migrant farmworkers: A conversation with Seth Holmes about on-the-ground research for his new book.” High Country News. October 9, 2013.
Holmes, S.M. Interview by Gonzalez, T. “Health of farmers in distress.” Univision Seattle KUNS. July 20, 2013.
“El calificativo ‘inmigrante ilegal’ afecta la salud de los trabajadores.” EFE, June 7, 2013.
Holmes, S.M. Interview by Clouttick, D. “Migrant farmworkers ‘systematically damaged’ to produce food for others.” Forked Magazine. January 31, 2014.
Holmes, S.M. “Entrevista con el autor, Seth Holmes.” Hecho en California. San Francisco Radio 1010. June 20, 2013.
Rogers, A. "Unseen sacrifices: New book reveals misperceptions, attitudes about migrant workers." Spokesman Review. July 27, 2013.
Ott J. “Experts: Triqui Marriage Consensual.” Salinas Californian. 2009, January 22.
Salonga R. “Field workers’ injuries linked to social causes.” Salinas Californian. 2006, June 16.
Melendez C. "Social aspects needed in treating patients, Seth Holmes says.” Monterey County Herald. 2006, June 15.
Univisión Monterey. “La Salud de los Migrantes: Entrevista con Seth Holmes.” 2006, June 15.
Radio Bilingüe. “La Salud de los Indocumentados de Oaxaca: Entrevista con Seth Holmes y Francisco Ventura.” La Hora Mixteca. 2006, May 27.
- Selected Grants and Fellowships
William T Grant Foundation Scholar, “Unequally ‘Hispanic’: Indigenous Latin American Immigrant Youth, Education and Well-Being.” 2017-2022.
Berkeley Big Ideas Course Grant, College of Letters and Science, UC Berkeley, Co-PI, “Migration in the Contemporary World.” 2017-2019.
Townsend Center for the Humanities Fellow, UC Berkeley, 2017-2018.
Open Society Foundation, PI, “Social Medicine Case Series.” 2016-2018.
Institute for Research on Labor and Employment, UC Berkeley, 2013-2018.
Western Center for Agricultural Health and Safety, PI, 2016-2017.
German Ministry of Education and Research, Re:Work Fellow, Humboldt University, Germany 2015-2016.
University of California Humanities Research Institute, "Structural Competency Working Group", 2014-2016.
Harvard University Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study, Invited, 2015-2016
Stanford University Center for Advanced Study in Behavioral Sciences, Invited, 2015-2016
Martin Sisters Endowed Chair, UC Berkeley, 2011-2015.
Course Development Grant, UC Berkeley, 2011-2012.
Townsend Center for the Humanities Mini-Grant, UC Berkeley, 2011.
Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Mini-Grant, “Social Medicine Case Series.” 2009-2011.
Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Grant “Ethnography of Health and Social Change." 2009-2011.
Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Health & Society Scholar, Columbia University, 2009-2011.
Co-Director (with Ian Whitmarsh) of the MD/PhD Track in Medical Anthropology coordinated between UCSF and UC Berkeley
Co-Chair (with Charles Briggs) of the Berkeley Center for Social Medicine
Structural Competency Working Group (UCB, UCSF, Samuel Merrit University)
Joint Medical Program (UCB/UCSF)
Berkeley Food Institute (UCB)
Health Disparities and Diversity Cluster, Haas Institute for a Fair and Inclusive Society (UCB)
Berkeley Interdisciplinary Migration Institute (UCB)
Designated Emphasis in Critical Theory (UCB)
Center for Science, Technology, Medicine and Society (UCB)
Center for Race and Gender (UCB)
Department of Medicine, Highland Hospital, School of Medicine (UCSF)
Seth M. Holmes
http://bitly.com/holmes_officehours; 128C Giannini
120 Mulford Hall
Dept. of Environmental Science, Policy, & Management
Berkeley, CA 94720-3114