Judith Noemí Freidenberg holds a Masters in Anthropology from the Universidad de Buenos Aires, Argentina, a PhD in Anthropology from the City University of New York, and a Certificate in Social Gerontology from the University of Maryland. She held a Post-Doctoral Fellowship at the National Institute of Mental Health to research migration and health. Freidenberg held faculty positions at the Mt. Sinai School of Medicine’s Department of Community Medicine in New York City and at the University of Maryland at College Park, Maryland. During her tenure at UMD, she directed the Anthropology of the Immigrant Life Course Research Program and the Certificate in Museum Scholarship & Material Culture; and was Director of both the Undergraduate Studies and Graduate Studies Programs for the Department. She is currently Professor Emerita at the Department of Anthropology, University of Maryland at College Park.
Freidenberg has also been professionally active in Latin America. She received a Milstein Award from Argentina’s Conicet (Argentina’s National Research Foundation) in 2017. During 2018, she taught in Brazil, Uruguay, and Argentina. In 2019, she was invited to affiliate with IDES (Instituto de Desarrollo Económico y Social) and she continues serving as a researcher.
During her career, Freidenberg enjoyed providing service to professional associations, students, governmental and non-governmental organizations. For the SfAA, she co-edited Practicing Anthropology, served as Secretary and Board Member, and co-founded SfAA Global to promote international exchange. For the AAA, she served in the Advising Committee for the public education program “On the Move.” Her teaching philosophy is focused on learning, thus translating her role as an educator into that of an advisor and mentor. Other service roles include president of WAPA (Washington Association of Professional Anthropologists), grant reviewing for the World Health Organization, and advising to the Pan American Health Organization. She had a long collaborative relationship with Casa de Maryland, a service non-governmental organization for immigrant and vulnerable populations in Maryland.
Freidenberg uses an applied and public anthropology perspective in her research production and dissemination on health and wellbeing, health tourism, aging and the life course, migration and mobility, methods, and museum scholarship. She has published in English and Spanish. Her last publications in Spanish are: Freidenberg, J. y J. Juncosa (2022), editors: Antropología Aplicada; Escenarios y experiencias en América Latina, Abya Yala, Ecuador; and Freidenberg, J. (2023): Expatriados, in C. J. Zunino & V. Trpn, editors, Pensar las migraciones contemporáneas: categorías críticas para su abordaje, Ciccus, Argentina. In English, she has edited books and journal issues, and published journal articles and books. These include Contemporary Conversations on Immigration in the United States: The View from Prince George’s County, Maryland (Lexington, 2016); The Invention of the Jewish Gaucho: Villa Clara and the Construction of Argentine Identity (Texas University Press, 2009; translated into Spanish by Prometeo Editorial, Argentina, 2013); Memorias de Villa Clara (Antropofagia, 2005); and Growing Old in El Barrio (New York University Press, 2000).
Freidenberg has used visual and written media to disseminate her research findings at public libraries, museums, and educational institutions. She curated Growing Old in Spanish Harlem for the Museum of the City of New York; Inside Out: Aging Latino in the US, a virtual exhibit, for the Smithsonian Institution; and The Immigrant Experience in Prince George’s County, Maryland, a travelling exhibition. She co-produced videos for these exhibitions with colleagues and students.
In 2019, Freidenberg moved to Argentina to be closer to her family and to practice anthropology in Latin America. She continues her service contributions. At the SfAA, she continues to serv e in the Annual Meeting Program Committee, she chairs the Pelto International Award and the Migration & International Dialogue TIG and is a committee member for Global SfAA. She continues to contribute to the World on the Move at the AAA which has recently produced a traveling exhibition on migration and is producing an accompanying publication. She is currently a team member of two research projects in Argentina housed at IDES: one, on health tourism focused on thermal water spas, and the other on new migrations to Argentina. She continues to stimulate dialogue on applied anthropology in the Americas, her long-standing goal.