I ask, how do we come to care about others, and how does this care have material impacts? Beginning with the co-emergence of notions of race, geography, and outbreak stories post-1492 and continuing into the present, I examine the political productiveness of discursively constructed difference through disease narratives.
I am a geographer by training. I focus on the impact of U.S. foreign policy on the unfolding of international health and development projects in Haiti over the past 100 years. I am interested in exploring the racialized discourses that have undergirded US interventionism as well as the social and political responses to these interventions from within Haiti. At the heart of my research is an exploration of the role and accessibility of health citizenship.
My dissertation research explored health citizenship beyond the nation-state. First, in examining the U.S. Occupation of Haiti from 1915-1934, and then moving to post-earthquake (Jan 12, 2010) Haiti, I examined the ways in which Haitian health citizenship has been transnationalized and continuously disrupted through health and development interventions (often militarized in implementation). At root of this project is a reading of how the political subjectivities of Haitians is understood through the lens of the United States government (by the military, State Department, USAID, and Homeland Security) and how this reading impacts Haitians’ claims to rights – political, economic, and social.
I have two current research projects going. The first is an examination of the impacts of the cholera epidemic in Haiti, both as a catalyst for highlighting the need for a recognized cosmpolitical subjectivty as well as its reflection of centuries-old racialized outbreak narratives and imaginative geographies.
The second is a book project, tentatively titled Monstrous Microbes: Geography, Race and Disease Narratives, in which I examine the co-emergence of new geographies, race and racism, and disease and outbreak narratives during the early years of global exploration, and the hauntings of these onto-epistemologies for marking the boundaries of ‘humanity’ and by extension, citizenship.