Bernardo Moreno Peniche

Grant Type

Dissertation Fieldwork Grant

Institutional Affiliation

California, Berkeley, U. of

Grant number

Gr. 10436

Approve Date

October 11, 2022

Project Title

Moreno Peniche, Bernardo (Berkeley, U of California) "At home. Chagas disease and the politics of landscape in the United States"

In the current context of the COVID-19 pandemic, diseases transmitted by animals have regained attention. Their emergence in the Global North unleashes anxieties of a world on the verge of disappearance, of ‘a third worlding at home’ (King 2002). In response to such anxieties, a whole epidemiological apparatus is put in place by governments and international agencies to draw distinctions between the domestic and the foreign, the global and the local, the epidemic and the endemic. Chagas is an insect-borne parasitic disease that is considered endemic to Latin America. The United States has established populations of insect vectors, parasites, and animal hosts, but due to a low frequency of locally acquired human infections, Chagas is not classified as endemic there. This research seeks to understand how the projected non-endemicity and foreignness of Chagas are, in fact, material realities that organize and maintain a broader nationalistic epidemiological landscape. Since Chagas engages the situated life cycles of multiple species, this project will rely on ethnographic methods that attend to the history and politics of the interactions between multiple things and beings as they come together in the formation of specific landscape configurations in the US.