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Benjamin Merrill

Benjamin Merrill
  • Social Sciences Building, Room 210
    9500 Gilman Drive #0532
    La Jolla , California 92093-0532

Ben Merrill is a 3rd year Psychological & Medical Anthropology doctoral student at UC San Diego, where they are a graduate research assistant in the Center for Global Mental Health (CGMH) on the Tracing Asylum Seekers Experience and Trajectories (TASET) project. Their ethnography of care investigates sites and services supporting forced migrants throughout the border region in order to understand their experiences of health and psychosocial wellbeing and the relations of care that sustain their journeys. Ben’s 2020 MA thesis Contouring Care, Containing Crisis takes up the conditions of border governance (the Trump administrations volatile campaign to dismantle refugee and asylum regimes in the United States) that led to the emergence of a unique migrant shelter-clinic in downtown San Diego. From there, he situated the practical and ethical challenges clinicians faced within the conflicting logics of public health screening and trauma-informed care.