Current Institutional Affiliation
Associate Professor, Anthropology, University of Denver

Award Information

International Dissertation Research Fellowship 2010
Institutional Affiliation (at time of award):
Anthropology, University of Washington
Epidemiology and the Everyday Life of the Right to Health in Post-War Guatemala

My current research project explores how public health practice contributes to the social construction of the right to health in Guatemala. It aims to produce a historically informed ethnography that provides a sociocultural analysis of the practice of epidemiology and the social life of the right to health, taking into account the subjectivity of the involved actors. I will examine the practices of the Guatemalan National Epidemiology Center, created in 2004 with the specific goal of contributing to the achievement of the right to health. Data collection will include archival research, semi-structured interviews, participant observation, life history, and visual techniques such s video recording of public events. The analysis will be centered on the interplay of epidemiology as a discipline, the CNE as an institution, and the epidemiologists as social agents to tease out the ways in which the right to health gets influenced by the practices and products of epidemiology. Through this research I will reconstruct the recent history of epidemiological practice and the social life of the right to health in Guatemala, and analyze them as a social process. This investigation adds to the growing interest in human rights practices, and expands the application of science and technology studies to the understanding of the culture of biomedicine and related disciplines.