Erika Drummond

Postgraduate Research Student


Erika achieved her BA in Latin American studies during her time at the University of Liverpool. She then recieved an ESRC scholarship to commence her MRes and PhD relating to her interests in Mexico and Guatemala.

Outside of her studies, Erika has spent a lot of time researching in Guatemala and interacting with local communities there.

Research Interests

Thesis Title

"Maternal mortality, reproductive risk, and obstetric violence: the pregnancy and childbirth experiences of the ‘otherised’ women in Guatemala"

Erika's research focuses on how Guatemalan women’s maternal health and child-birthing experiences reflect deep rooted processes of socio-cultural discrimination and gender based violence, which undermine their health and wellbeing. Previously, her research has emphasised the ways in which maternal mortality in Guatemala has made the conversation around childbirth incredibly emotive and politically charged in ways which have ‘otherised’ women and midwives, and reinvigorated social hierarchies within the health care setting. However, since beginning fieldwork in August 2017, rather than emphasising the ‘marginality’ of midwives, Erika's focus has been on highlighting the crucially political role that they play in their communities. This aspect of her work thus seeks to explore the very relevant position that midwives occupy in present day Guatemala, and how their work provides invaluable emotional and physical support for impoverished women, in ways which are culturally empowering to themselves, their patients and their communities.

Research Funding

Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC)