Emily Yates-Doerr

Grant Type

Hunt Postdoctoral Fellowship

Institutional Affiliation

Oregon State U.

Grant number

Gr. 9885

Approve Date

October 9, 2019

Project Title

Yates-Doerr, Emily (Oregon State U.) "Doing Good Science: When Fetal Development is Global Development in Guatemala— and Beyond"

EMILY YATES-DOERR, Oregon State University, Corvallis, Oregon, was awarded a Hunt Postdoctoral Fellowship in October 2019 to aid research and writing on “Doing Good Science: When Fetal Development is Global Development in Guatemala — and Beyond.” Life in Guatemala is unsustainable for the record number of Guatemalan women seeking asylum in the United States. The Hunt Fellowship supported writing of a book that provides an untold story of this exodus. “Mal-Nutrition: A Thousand Windows into American Violence” shows how health interventions to improve maternal nutrition have been complicit in producing and reproducing hunger. Drawing from twenty years of anthropological engagement in Guatemala and three years of focused ethnography the book illustrates how women are harmed when fetal development becomes a tool of global development. Policymakers in and beyond Guatemala spoke about how a critical window of biological development around the time of pregnancy – the window of the first 1000 days of life – determines health and wealth across the life course, with effects on national and global economic prosperity. Mal-Nutrition instead shows the “Window of 1000 Days” to be a window into paradigmatic techniques of American violence. The book also recounts cultural “historias” told by Guatemalan scientists, midwives, and mothers working to counter the harms of mal-nutrition. These “historias” offer a window into a form of maternal nutrition science and policy that encourages collective nourishment and fosters reproductive cycles in which entire communities can flourish.