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"

The Indian state of Uttar Pradesh (UP) is one of the most dangerous places in the world for children. If it were a country, UP would have the sixteenth highest child mortality rate in the world. Child health outcomes have remained poor despite efforts by national and international agencies to improve access to medical services in the state. This project examines ways in which caregivers connect and collaborate as they care for chronically ill and terminal children. It studies how families and clinicians in UP respond to seizures among children whose causes cannot be ascertained, which continue despite extended periods of medical treatment and familial care, and that can lead to a child’s death. To investigate how families and clinicians together experience moments of medical and familial crises, this project focuses on (1) the medical documents they create, and (2) their interactions surrounding the critical nature of a child’s seizures. While scholars have emphasized that individuals are not the only loci of medical transactions and have documented the centrality of the family in the practice of medicine, this research explores the material and linguistic forms in which chronic illness and child death impress upon family-clinician relations.