César Abadía-Barrero

Assistant Professor


I am a medical anthropologist who has conducted ethnographic research with children and adolescents in Brazil and Colombia. In my book “I Have AIDS but I am Happy. Children’s Subjectivities, AIDS, and Social Responses in Brazil,” I describe what it’s like for children and adolescents to grow up living with and affected by HIV/AIDS. My second book examines the defunding, closure and privatization of Colombia’s legendary child and maternity hospital.

Current projects

Currently, I starting new projects that look at “emerging childhood epidemics” within a context characterized by the destruction of the environments where children are growing up and restrictions in children’s right to health care. In particular,  Phase I of the project “Dysregulated Children: Toxicity, Infections, and Immunity in Emerging Childhood Epidemics”, joint with my colleague Maria LaRusso and funded in part by a seed grant from the Center for the Study of Culture, Health, and Human Development, inquires about the experiences of children and families affected by Pediatric Autoimmune Neuropsychiatric Syndrome (PANS), as well as the responses from both schools and health care providers to the children’s health and developmental challenges.

Recent CHHD-related publications

Abadía-Barrero, C. and Bugbee, M. Primary Health Care for Universal Health Coverage? Contributions for a Critical Anthropological Agenda, 2019. Medical Anthropology. Cross-Cultural Studies in Health and Illness, doi: 10.1080/01459740.2019.1620744.

Abadía-Barrero, C. Kangaroo Mother Care in Colombia: A Subaltern Health Innovation against For-profit Biomedicine. 2018. Medical Anthropology Quarterly.32(3): 384-403. doi: 10.1111/maq.12430