Mobile Medicine: Public Health and Indigenous Lives on the Lower Colorado River, 1880-1940


ACLS Fellowship Program


American Indian Studies

Named Award

ACLS Oscar Handlin Fellow named award


Mobile Medicine centers disease in Native history to show how mobility blurs neat conceptions of spatial and racial order. Between the 1880s and 1930s, U.S. Indian policies tried to eliminate tribal sovereignty and, in the process, created medical crises for tribal nations across the country. Along the Lower Colorado River, tribes responded through purposeful movement that gave them freedom from surveillance, the opportunity to make a living, and the ability to maintain strong community bonds and sacred customs and relations to the land—in short, the ability to maintain their health. Diseases often link communities in new and complicated ways; their trajectories outline the contours of colonization in its many unwieldy forms. Through disease, Mobile Medicine tracks the liminal and powerful roles of Indigenous people and their health in US history.