Dr. Karin Friederic

Assistant ProfessorDr. Karin Friederic Cultural Anthropologist - Wake Forest University
Cultural/Applied Anthropology
Office: Anthropology Building
Phone: 336.758.5976
Email: friedeku@wfu.edu


Karin Friederic (Ph.D., University of Arizona) is a cultural anthropologist who specializes in global health, human rights, development, gender, sexuality, and violence. Her main area of research focuses on how ideas about human rights are changing both women and men’s responses to intimate partner violence in rural Ecuador.

Since the year 2000, Karin has worked with Ecuadorian communities in their efforts to obtain quality health care.  In 2003, she co-founded a nonprofit organization, The Minga Foundation, which is dedicated to improving global health through community based development. Current projects include a sexual education program for youth in Malawi, community organizing around clean water and açai production in northern Brazil, and agricultural training for HIV positive women in Uganda.

 Her research has been published in diverse venues, including Practicing AnthropologyLatin American Perspectivesand Ethnos: Journal of Anthropology. Her research and engagement has been supported by the National Science Foundation, the Wenner Gren Foundation, PEO Scholars, the Harry Frank Guggenheim Foundation, and the Feminist Review Trust. As part of a grant from the Feminist Review Trust, she implemented a project entitled “A Multipronged Approach to Combating Intimate-Partner Violence in Rural Coastal Ecuador” from 2014 to 2015. Karin was also awarded the 2015-2016 Campbell Fellowship for Transformative Research on Women in the Developing World by the School for Advanced Research in Santa Fe, New Mexico.

She joined the Department of Anthropology at Wake Forest University in 2012 after completing her Ph.D. at the University of Arizona in 2011 and serving as a Faculty Fellow at Colby College in Maine for one year. She received her BA in Anthropology from The Colorado College.

For more information, please visit www.karinf.com or http://wfu.academia.edu/KarinFriederic.

Curriculum Vitae

Research and Scholarly Activities

Research Interests: global health, development, charity and NGOs; human rights; transnational feminisms; gender, violence, and sexuality; women’s health and reproductive health; applied, engaged, and activist anthropology.

Geographic Areas of Interest: Latin America & the Caribbean, specifically Ecuador; United States.


Select Publications:

To access some of Karin Friederic’s articles, visit: http://wfu.academia.edu/KarinFriederic.


2015    Gender Violence, Social Change, and Applied Anthropology in Coastal Ecuador. In: Applying Anthropology to Gender-Based Violence: Global Responses, Local Practices. Eds. Jennifer R. Wies and Hillary H. Haldane. Lanham, MD: Lexington Books.

2014    The “Sony Nightclub”: Rural Brothels, Gender Violence, and Development in Coastal Ecuador. Special Issue: Tracing Sexualities and Intimacies in Out-of-the-Way Places. Ethnos: Journal of Anthropology 79 (5):650-676.

2014    With Megan McCullough and Jan Brunson. Editorial Introduction: Intimacies and Sexualities in Out-Of-The-Way Places. Ethnos: Journal of Anthropology 79 (5):577-584.

2013    Violence against Women and the Contradictions of Rights-In-Practice in Rural Ecuador. Latin American Perspectives 41 (1):19-38.

2011    The Challenges of Advocacy in Anthropological Research on Intimate Partner Violence. Special Issue: Anthropological Encounters With Intimate Partner Violence: Reflections on our Roles in Advocating for a Safer World. Practicing Anthropology 33 (3):27-31.

2010    Barriers or Boundaries? The Politics of Conducting Research on Gender-Based Violence in Rural Ecuador. Arizona Anthropologist. 20: 81-88.

2008    Frontiers of Violence: Women’s Rights, Intrafamily Violence, and the State in Ecuador. Intersections: Women’s and Gender Studies in Review across Disciplines 6:58-75. 2008


2015    Anthropology in the Making: Research in Health and Development by Laurent Vidal, Routledge Studies in Anthropology. American Anthropologist, 117:3. September 2015.

2014    Feminist Activist Ethnography: Counterpoints to Neoliberalism in North America. Christa Craven and Dána-Ain Davis, eds. American Ethnologist 41: 789–791.

2009    Gender, Indian, Nation: The Contradictions of Making Ecuador, 1830-1925, by Erin            O’Connor. Arizona Anthropologist, Issue 19.




  • The Violence of Human Rights: Intimate Partners, Women’s Organizing, and Development Politics in Rural Ecuador (tentative title).

Teaching and Student Engagement

Regularly-Taught Courses:

  • ANT 114 – Introduction to Cultural Anthropology (offered each semester)
  • ANT 360 – Anthropology of Global Health (approx. every 2 years)
  • ANT 385 – Global Justice and Human Rights in Latin America (approx. every 2 years)
  • FYS 100 – Save the World in One Click: Human Rights and Humanitarianism in the Facebook Era

Other Courses:

  • ANT385 – Special Topics: Gender, Health, and Development
  • Women’s Health in Global Perspective
  • Violence, Development and Social Justice
  • Applied Anthropology


  • 2013-5 Steering Committee Member, WFU Latin American and Latino/a Studies
  • 2013-5 Member, Phi Beta Kappa, Members in Course Committee, Wake Forest University
  • 2013-4 Undergraduate Lower Division Adviser, Wake Forest University
  • 2013 Fellow, Center for Community Solutions, Wake Forest University


Undergraduate Honors Theses

  • Anna Grace Tribble (2015, Anthropology), “Female Community Health Workers, Health Education, and Tuberculosis in Nepal”
  • Shoshanna Goldin (2015, Global Health), “Infertility and Faith: An Examination of Jewish and Muslim Women’s Perspectives of IVF Policy in Israel”
  • Lydia L. Sandy (2014, Anthropology), “It’s More Than a Decision: The Roles of Uncertainty, Medical Pluralism, and Family Dynamics in the Decision-Making Processes of Young, Dalit Mothers in a Small Village in Western Nepal”
  • David Inczauskis (2014, Religion), “The Refinement of Liberation Theology: An Analysis of the Dialogue between the Latin Americans and the Vatican”

Summer Research Fellows & Internships

  • Adriana Cordova, 2015, Bagel Fund Recipient, “Health Education among Youth in Rural Ecuador”
  • Ty Kraniak, 2014, Richter Fellow, “Health Communication and Community-Based Healthcare”
  • Araceli Morales, 2014, Richter Fellow, “Community-Based Conservation in Mexico”
  • Ty Kraniak, 2013, “Hydrating Humanity: Providing Clean Water in Rural Kenya” (Course Credit)
  • David Inczauskis, 2013, Richter Fellowship, “Helping Honduras Kids: An NGO’s Perspective on Poverty and Orphaned Children” (Supervised Research)

Contact Information

Karin Friederic, Ph.D.
Assistant Professor, Department of Anthropology
Wake Forest University
P. O. Box 7807, Winston-Salem, NC 27109
friedeku@wfu.edu • Tel:  336-758-5976 • www.karinf.com


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