Chronic Life and Makeshift Medicine: The Diabetes Pandemic and Its Paradoxes in the Margins


Mellon/ACLS Dissertation Completion Fellowships




Diabetes is the number one cause of all deaths in Belize, although global health aid and circulating there primarily supports infectious disease control programs. This dissertation empirically explores the difficult paradox of living with a popularly imagined “disease of affluence” in contexts of poverty and transition, where care for chronic illnesses remains in sight, but often moves in and out of reach. This project examines how the historical imbalance in global care speaks to the developed world's own entanglement in new pathologies. Based on fieldworkin rural Belize, it explores both the surprising ways emerging symptoms of diabetes are being treated, as well as what it means for diabetes itself to be a key symptom of radical social changes in an unevenly globalized world.