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Faculty Update – Kristin Yarris

Professor Yarris worked with other faculty and the expert assistance of Kaley McCarty, Undergraduate Program Coordinator, to start a new minor in Global Health, which is housed in the International Studies Department. We have about 50 new minors this academic year, and look forward to bringing more students into the program next year and one day soon having a Major in Global Health. With her INTL graduate student, Brenda Garcia-Millan, Yarris received a Teaching Engagement Program award this year for “engaging in difficult conversations in the classroom,” which Yarris and Garcia-Millan used to develop curriculum related to broadening students’ global and critical cross-cultural awareness of global health and mental health challenges. Yarris’s first book, Care Across Generations: Solidarity and Sacrifice in Transnational Families, was published in August, 2017 by Stanford University Press, and she gave several talks on her book this year, including tothe Oregon Humanities Center and to her colleagues at the Universidad Centroamericana in Managua, Nicaragua in December. Yarris, Garcia-Millan, and Karla Schmidt-Murillo (also an INTL MA student) received a grant from the UO Center for Latino/a and Latin American Studies for a project examining how local communities are creatively fostering spaces of welcome for migrants and refugees. With Prof. Mary Wood from the English Department, Yarris is developing a new research project examining the history of Morningside Hospital, an inpatient psychiatric facility open through the first half of the 20th century in Portland. The hospital operated under the shadow of much controversy, related to the care of many patients from what was then the Alaska Territory, the eventual passage of the Alaska Mental Health Act, and the hospital’s ultimate closure. Yarris and Wood received an interdisciplinary research award from the Vice President for Research and Innovation, and they will conduct archival research in Oregon, Washington, and Alaska this summer with two undergraduate research assistants examining the social and historical construction of psychiatric illness and care. Yarris is also working on a second book project, tentatively titled, Encounters of Violence and Care: Transit Migration through Mexico; she recently presented on this work at the Latin American Studies Association meetings in Barcelona.


Prof. Yarris’s book has been published by the Stanford University Press. Watch her discussion about her book here.


Prof. Yarris with her students (Paige Plaskoff – left and Sejal Asher – right) during the Undergrad Research Symposium May,2018.


Prof. Yarris speaking at the Global Health Spring 2018 Celebration

Updated June, 2018