Disease and aid: 100 years of US (de)construction of health citizenship in Haiti
Lopez, Patricia Josephina
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This dissertation examines the transnationalization of health citizenship in Haiti through health and development interventions conducted or orchestrated by institutions of the United States at two ends of a single century. My work builds on theories related to citizenship, geopolitics, securitization, and global health to unpack the imaginative geographies of Haiti, as constructed from within the United States, that have both discursively and materially impacted Haitian health citizenship. I begin by reexamining the first US occupation of Haiti (1915-1934) and the often-celebrated humanitarian work of the US Navy, US Marines, and the Rockefeller Foundation in building both public health and sanitation in Haiti. I unpack what is an often taken-for-granted history of humanitarianism to point to the gaps, lapses, and incompleteness of these projects. I then turn to the post-earthquake (2010) humanitarian interventions, paying particular attention to the ways in which the operations closely resembled the military intervention nearly 100 years previously. The earthquake, devastating and deadly as it was, unveiled the striking legacy of colonial and imperial histories and their destructive effects on Haiti. I argue that the discursive construction of Haiti and Haitians, built on imaginative geographies informed by a racialized pathologization of the country, has undergriderd and legitimated 100 years US and international humanitarian interventions. These interventions, I further argue, have led to the uneven geography of health citizenship made so plain in the wreckage following the earthquake. In this dissertation, I seek to trouble what are the taken-for-granted discourses of Haiti, making plain the deep impacts that they have on the lived experiences of Haitians, particularly through the lens of citizenship.
- Geography