Jocelyn Lim Chua
Grant TypePost PhD Research Grant
Institutional AffiliationNorth Carolina, Chapel Hill, U. of
Grant numberGr. 9588
Approve DateApril 13, 2018
Project TitleChua, Dr. Jocelyn L., U. of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, NC - To aid research on 'Chemical Warfare: Psychiatric Medications and Soldiering in America's Post-9/11 Wars'
JOCELYN LIM CHUA, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, North Carolina, was granted funding in April 2018 to aid research on “Chemical Warfare: Psychiatric Medications and Soldiering in America’s Post-9/11 Wars.” This grant supported ethnographic research on the uptake and lived effects of psychiatric medication use in counterinsurgency soldiering in the context of the post-9/11 US-led wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. Today, with the US all-volunteer military stretched thin by prolonged and repeated deployments in the ʺglobal war on terror,” military officials have embraced the easy dispensability of psychiatric medications as an efficient means of enabling more troops to remain “mission-capable” without dismissal from operational roles. Through ethnographic analysis, this project interrogated three research questions: How have psychiatric medications been assimilated into the operations, infrastructures, and ethical regimes of post-9/11 US counterinsurgency in Iraq and Afghanistan? How do soldiers understand and experience the use of psychiatric medications in war? How does military use of psychiatric medications impact the legal, moral, and cultural landscape of soldiering and military suffering in the US? This project suggests the experiential dilemmas, moral quandaries, and operational questions that arise for soldiers and military care providers when psychiatric medications are used in deployment settings. Findings from this research offers new ways to theorize relationships between war making, medicine, and the global mobility of pharmaceuticals.