Lili Milanes

  • Anthropology Ph.D. Candidate
  • Anthropology
Research Interests:

Bachelor's of Science in Anthropology from the University of Central Florida


As a 1.5 generation Cuban-American born in Pembroke Pines, FL and raised in Orlando, FL I had the opportunity to attain my bachelor's degree from the University of Central Florida (UCF). I pursued my passion for anthropology and research by being part of McNair Scholars program and completing a thesis, under the direction of Dr. Joanna Mishtal. My undergraduate honors-in-the-major thesis on men’s utilization and access to reproductive and sexual healthcare reflects long-standing concerns for needed improvements in health outcomes. I have always had a dedication to battling inequalities, especially health inequalities, and an equally strong dedication to making my research translatable to healthcare policy and communities. These and other experiences have shaped my intellectual interests and fuel my activist motivation to strive for a positive social impact. Currently I am pursuing my doctoral degree in medical anthropology at the University of Kentucky.


As a medical anthropology graduate student in pursuit of my Ph.D. at UK, I am studying under the direction of Dr. Mary Anglin. My dissertation research will focus on type two diabetes among Latino populations within the U.S. Given that type two diabetes is the “result of social and cultural processes related to change in quality and quantity of energy consumed (diet) and energy expended (physical activity)” (Ferzacca 2012:412), I want to focus on those other, societal factors that continue to disproportionately affect U.S. Latino communities. Part of what I want to do with my research is to break down the idea that Latinos are all part of one homogenized group, and because Latinos are consistently presented as the racialized “other” in the U.S., another big aspect of what I want to do revolves around racism, specifically institutional racism. I want to study the ways in which the neoliberal capitalist market has created more sickly communities with more chronic diseases, in this case diabetes among Caribbean-American Latinos. I also want to incorporate the way neoliberal ideals have been transformed and embodied within the public sector and how these transformations influence the development of diabetes within communities. 

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