Simona Spiegel


Simona holds a B.A. in Anthropology & English from the University of Mary Washington (2018). Her undergraduate thesis research with Appalachian public school teachers in Southwest Virginia synthesized theories of power, resistance, identity, and place-making into a qualitative case study of how teachers integrate project-based learning in the classroom, while navigating hegemonic structures of standardized testing in education.

At Notre Dame, Simona’s research focuses on Black, Brown, Indigenous, and Latinx/e birth work in the United States and Latin America. She works with midwives to understand how they navigate stress and healing in birth care landscapes shaped by racialized erasure, reproductive health crises, community-building, and grassroots activism. Mirroring birth work epistemologies, Simona integrates her Black feminist praxis with a biocultural toolkit to understand processes of embodiment, practitioner experiences, and collective envisionings of healing and well-being. Simona is a birth worker and aspiring midwife. She is a National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellow.