PhD Students

Teotihuacan, Mexico, 2013

Teotihuacan, Mexico, 2013


Jennifer Koshatka Seman


Educational Background

PhD, Southern Methodist University, 2015
MA, History, Southern Methodist University, 2012
BA, University of North Texas, 2009, graduated Magna Cum Laude

Jennifer Seman CV

Dissertation Title

"The Politics of Curanderismo: Santa Teresa Urrea, Don Pedrito Jaramillo, and
Faith Healing in the U.S-Mexico Borderlands at the Turn of the Twentieth Century"

I am interested in the histories of race, gender, spirituality, and medicine in the U.S.-Mexico borderlands. My dissertation examines borderlands saints Teresa Urrea (1873-1906) and Don Pedrito Jaramillo (1829-1907) who attracted thousands of devout followers on both sides of the U.S.-Mexico border with their curanderismo practices. My dissertation is a transnational study of curanderismo as a faith healing practice as well as a political tool, and examines the intersection of state power, professionalizing medicine, and spiritual movements that informed the U.S. Gilded Age and Progressive Era as well as the Mexican “Porfiriato.”


  • “‘How do I know…prayers don’t do more good than…pills:’ Don Pedrito Jaramillo, Curanderismo, and the Rise of Professional Medicine in the Rio Grande Valley, 1881-1900.” Journal of the West  Vol. 54, no.1 (Winter 2015), 15-28.
  • “Laying-on Hands: Santa Teresa’s Curanderismo as Medicine and Refuge at the Turn of the Twentieth Century.” (Book chapter). Religion and Medicine in America’s Secular Age, (Forthcoming, 2015).
  • Contributing writer at the Borderlands History Blog:

For more on my research and interests, please visit:

Last updated 12/15