Luisa Castro

Grant Type

Dissertation Fieldwork Grant

Institutional Affiliation

Massachusetts Inst. of Technology

Grant number

Gr. 9677

Approve Date

April 30, 2018

Project Title

Castro, Luisa Reis, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge, MA - To aid research on 'Vectors of Health: Science and the Making of Modified Mosquitoes in Brazil,' supervised by Dr. Stefan Helmreich

LUISA R. CASTRO, then a graduate student at Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge, Massachusetts, was awarded a grant in April 2018 to aid research on ‘Vectors of Health: Science and the Making of Modified Mosquitoes in Brazil,’ supervised by Dr. Stefan Helmreich. The Aedes aegypti mosquito can be the vector for the Zika virus as well as other viral diseases, including dengue and chikungunya. This dissertation grant has provided financial support for ethnographic research in three projects in Brazil attempting to make use of the mosquito in efforts to control the viruses it can transmit. These projects being researched, tested, and implemented in different cities (Recife, Rio de Janeiro, and Foz do Igua’u) transform the mosquito, the vector, into part of the solution, at the same time that they attempt to portray and promote Brazil as a country that can export knowledge and technology of health solutions. Mosquitoes and the country itself are turned into what the grantee calls ‘vectors of health.’ However, not only do these projects propose distinct strategies but they also promote different models of envisioning the articulation between the state, public health, and science, between the country and the rest of the world. This research builds upon and expands scholarship examining how scientific practices can shape and make ‘places,’ by examining how both biological (ecological, evolutionary, physiological, climatic) and anthropological theories craft a ‘Brazil,’ particularly in relation to a ‘global South’ or a ‘global.’