Levi Vonk is a medical anthropologist, writer, and incoming assistant professor in the Global Studies Program at UVA. His next book project, The Body Migrant, investigates a secret border militarization pact between the US and Mexico known as Southern Border Program, which seeks to dismantle the international asylum system and keep migrants out of the US at all costs. A two-time Fulbright scholar, Levi has been conducting anthropological work with Central American migrants in Mexico since 2015.
Levi is excited to teach coursework in the Global Studies Program on migration, medical anthropology, Latin America, and journalism/creative nonfiction, and his broader research interests include: the body, the human, material and psychic violence, social movements, and rethinking the legacy of structural anthropology.
Levi's first book, Border Hacker (2022), is a work of creative nonfiction that follows the journey of an undocumented migrant and computer hacker from his deportation in New York to his kidnapping in Mexico. It was recently shortlisted for the Juan E. Méndez Book Award at Duke University. He holds a PhD from the Joint Program in Medical Anthropology at UC Berkeley-UCSF. Before entering academia, Levi worked as a freelance journalist, stir fry cook, and olive salesman, and he has lived in Mexico, Cuba, England, and the Netherlands.