Pre-colonial Birthing Technologies, Politics of Pleasure During Birth, Epigenetics and Birth Outcomes for Black and Latinx Birthing People, Non-Western Healing, Free Birth
Born and raised in the East Bay Area and having grown up in East Oakland, Veronica Mandujano began her studies at Merit and Laney Community Colleges in Oakland Ca. She then transferred to UC Santa Bárbara where she began to experience physically debilitating “mystery” symptoms. Western doctors suggested a muscular dystrophy diagnosis that was both life long, and requiring of intense pharmaceutical treatment. Rather than taking on the social constructionist implications of accepting her diagnosis, Veronica began to engage with plant medicine and hierbas, self healing modalities, and holistic treatments. Through her immigrant parents from Guanajuato and Tijuana, Mexico, she was re-connected to various practitioners and community healers. Her personal journey of regaining her physical strength, as well as her relationships and respect towards plant allies now influences her graduate research project. In accordance with community parteras in Guanajuato, Mexico, and through an analysis of Western birthing practices, Veronica seeks to merge pre-colonial healing technologies and modern articulations of the uterus, the womb, and the politics by which gendered, racialized, and low-income birthing people acquire access to free and radical birthing experiences.