Katyayni Seth

Grant Type

Dissertation Fieldwork Grant

Institutional Affiliation

Brown U.

Grant number

Gr. 10152

Approve Date

April 8, 2021

Project Title

Seth, Katyayni (Brown U.) "Caring for Children with Seizures in North India: An Exploration through Documents and Death"

KATYAYNI SETH, then a graduate student at Brown University, Providence, Rhode Island, was awarded funding in April 2021 to aid research on “Caring for Children with Seizures in North India: An Exploration through Documents and Death,” supervised by Dr. Daniel Smith. The research undertaken during the grant period focused on two aspects of family-clinician interactions: 1) the creation and circulation of medical documents; 2) communication surrounding the possibility of a child dying. The grantee studied these aspects to learn how caregivers collaborate and relate to each other during moments of familial and medical crises. Interviews, document analysis and event analysis conducted during fieldwork revealed that repetition plays a crucial role in both familial and medical care practices. Families and clinicians feel a desperate need to do things for the wellbeing of children under their care and to keep doing certain things repeatedly, such as writing files and seeking opinions from a variety of treatment providers. These repetitive actions sit beside the fear that whatever one is doing, and is capable of doing, for the child might not be sufficient to reverse their illness or prevent their death. In instances when a child is dying, these issues of doing and repetition bring to the fore what is at stake for families and clinicians as they experience Uttar Pradesh’s excessive child mortality rate.