Simona Spiegel


Simona holds a B.A. in Anthropology & English from the University of Mary Washington (2018). Her undergraduate thesis research focused on public school teachers in the Appalachian region of Southwest Virginia who integrate project-based learning in their classrooms. The project synthesized theories of power, resistance, identity, and place-making into a qualitative case study of how teachers navigate pedagogy and nationalized hegemonic structures of standardized testing in the United States.

Simona’s current research focuses on Black, Latinx, and Indigenous birth work in the United States and Latin America. She examines changes in birth care movements, including the sociohistorical medicalization of birth care and contemporary resurgences of midwifery. Through ethnography informed by Black Feminism, Simona works to understand knowledge production, identity, and desirability/undesirability in reproductive care. This project is intended to serve by creating cross-community understanding and co-constitution of information regarding linkages of maternal health outcomes, accessibility, and quality of care. This project centers on concepts of race, spirituality, and embodiment in a birth work landscape shaped by both neoliberal consumerism and grassroots systems of community care. Simona is a Notre Dame Presidential Fellow.