culture + environment creating health + wellbeing engaged research

Sebastian Fonseca

Postdoctoral Fellow, C3: Connecting Three Worlds


Sebastian Fonseca is MD, MA, PhD – currently Postdoctoral Fellow at the Wellcome Trust-funded ‘Connecting 3 World: Socialism, Medicine and Global Health after WWII” (PIs Prof Drs Dora Vargha, Edna Diaz-Suarez, and Sarah Marks). His current research focuses on integrating historically neglected voices in the configuration of health in Latin America’s “long” Cold War. Under the rubik of social medicine, Sebastian works around thought styles is socialist health from approaches grounded in social history, STS, and medical anthropology.

Research Highlights to Date

Sebastian completed a medical doctor degree with honours from his native Colombia (Pontificia Universidad Javeriana). In search for interdisciplinary studies to further comprehend the social basis of health and disease, he completed an MA in Philosophy, Politics, and Economics of Health (UCL) and PhD in Global Health and Social Medicine (KCL) – both funded by Colciencias. His research focused on Latin America and the development of the social medicine and collective health tradition during the second half of the last century via regional collective ALAMES. After successfully obtaining the degree, Sebastian moved on to complete a postdoctoral fellowship at the Department of History of Medicine, at Institute of Biomedical Ethics and History of Medicine (IBME, Zurich). The fellowship was funded by the Swiss Government Excellence Scholarship, mainly addressing the sociohistorical context of Latin American public health to nurture his research around regional/situated social medicine.

Work he will be doing within the Centre

Within the C3World project, Sebastian will address the health cultures, models and discourses in territories historically known to be run by National Liberation Armies in Latin America (guerrillas). With the advent of the multiple peace treaties and revolutions in the region (FMLN-El Salvador, Sandinismo-Nicaragua, Zapatismo-Mexico and more recently FARC-Colombia), multiple new cases of health cultures remain to be explored and critically analysed. Particularly, Sebastian will mostly focus on the FARC case whose new narrative are arising as a result of the Truth Commission, Transitional Justice Courts, and associated institutions for the study of the conflict since 2016. By advancing this research, Sebastian will contribute to the analysis of ‘socialist health’ as experienced by local communities and envisioned by leftist internationalism in health.