Carolina Talavera

Graduate Student Peer Mentor Award Recipient - 2021

Research Interests: Austerity, Affect, Precarity, Injury, Race, Political-Economy, Embodiment, United Kingdom, Europe, Welfare


As a medical anthropologist, my research is concerned with the ordinary effects of larger structural inequalities and understanding the processes through which they produce insecurity and determine wellbeing. My research interests range from housing insecurity, embodiment, austerity, violence and injury. I conducted research on London’s growing homelessness crisis, focusing specifically on the use of temporary accommodation (TA), the provision of interim shelter by local government while individuals and families wait to be placed in more secure housing. A phenomenon situated in the tension produced by the undeliverable promise of Britain’s social housing program and the chronic experience of housing insecurity in contemporary London. My dissertation research focuses on understanding how promises, deferrals and demands to wait for material security, in the form of permanent housing, are turned into mechanisms of governance that produce precarious life. I explicitly attend to the embodied experiences, the material manifestations and ordinary encounters of this chronic insecurity to understand the ways that state policies refract through intimate lives. Moreover, I am interested in the activist organizations and social actions that aim to challenge the management and production of this insecurity.
Carolina graduated from UC Santa Cruz with a BA in Anthropology and History, with a focus on medical anthropology. She also received a MSc in Medical Anthropology from University College London where she completed a dissertation project on the criminalization of sex work, humanitarianism and the politics of saving in Austerity Britain