Alana Apfel Photo Alana Apfel

MA Graduate
Anthropology and Social Change

Alana is a birth activist, writer and midwife. She is author of Birth Work as Care Work: Stories From Activist Birth Communities, published with PM Press and Kairos an editorial imprint of the Anthropology and Social Change department. She has run workshops internationally exploring the politics of birth and birth work and continues to support birthing people directly through her role as a midwife within the UK’s National Health Service. Her most recent work is the mothering of her newborn son born in August 2020. 

My journey to the Anthropology and Social Change department at CIIS was both personal and political. My arrival in the United States signalled a means to explore my familial roots where I discovered traditions of activist healthcare and midwifery. My enrolment in the graduate program provided a welcome home to explore these avenues more deeply from which emerged my life passion and focus. Through collective learning, discussion and debate the program supported me to define the contours and nature of my work as both an activist scholar and birth worker. It also offered substantial creative freedom which ultimately led to the publication of my writing with PM Press much of which was drawn from work explored during this program. 

 

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