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I am a Ph.D. candidate in socio-cultural and medical anthropology at Yale University, working on practices of care and postcolonial relations in the Bolivian Andes. My dissertation is an ethnography of Bolivian state-led efforts to “decolonize” the healthcare system by tailoring services to indigenous world-views. Since the election of President Evo Morales in 2005, state officials have drawn on indigenous activist frameworks to critique structures of capitalist biomedicine and incorporate subaltern knowledges into health services. Yet these reforms have often been implemented unevenly, contingent on local funding and competing for resources with modernist development projects. In this context, I explore how hospital workers, healers, and patients grapple with shifting political and material conditions in their provision of care. I argue that the tenuous negotiations and affective relations involved in care work become sites of contestation, in which both practitioners and patients enact claims about indigenous difference and belonging. Ethnographic and archival research for this project was funded by the National Science Foundation, the Tinker Foundation, the Yale MacMillan Center, and the Yale Department of Anthropology.
Research interests: health, care, and well-being; state-building and citizenship; settler colonialism; race, ethnicity and indigeneity; medical knowledge(s); affect; public health and development; Bolivia; Latin America