The Biopolitics of Infectious Diseases, Vaccines, and Settler Colonial Whiteness on Lingít Aaní (WGF - Dissertation Fieldwork Grant)

Part of the Wenner-Gren Foundation Grant Application Collection Metadata (DRAFT) project

Author(s): Adam Kersch

Year: 2021


This resource is an application for the Dissertation Fieldwork Grant from the Wenner-Gren Foundation.

This research project examines transformations in the relationship between race and biopolitics in Sitka, Alaska, focusing on infectious disease outbreaks over the past 200 years. Specifically, I interrogate the intersection of whiteness and infectious disease and suggest that the politicized concept of whiteness has shifted dramatically. I hypothesize that: 1) over the course of Russian and US rule, whiteness has served as a political matrix through which colonial powers consolidated biopolitical control of Native Alaskan Tlingit populations and that 2) during our current pandemic, whiteness serves as a matrix that threatens to undermine biopolitical cohesion and biosecurity of the Sitkan Tlingit and non-Native population. This research ? conducted with approval from Sitka Tribe of Alaska and Sealaska Heritage Institute ? seeks to understand how practices of biopolitical racialization have formed, changed, and retained their historical residues. This project contributes to medical anthropology and provides vital insight into attitudes toward public health measures during a pandemic. Such information is immediately useful to tribal governments and public health officials mitigating COVID-19?s impacts. It simultaneously analyzes the interplay between race, colonialism, and public health in the context of infectious disease outbreaks.

Cite this Record

The Biopolitics of Infectious Diseases, Vaccines, and Settler Colonial Whiteness on Lingít Aaní (WGF - Dissertation Fieldwork Grant). Adam Kersch. 2021 ( tDAR id: 468643) ; doi:10.48512/XCV8468643

This Resource is Part of the Following Collections

Spatial Coverage

min long: -136.824; min lat: 55.838 ; max long: -133.835; max lat: 58.298 ;

Individual & Institutional Roles

Contact(s): Wenner-Gren Foundation


Rights & Attribution: This resource is an application from the Wenner-Gren Foundation and has been approved by the grantee solely for pedagogical purposes. Please do not cite, circulate, or duplicate any part of these documents without the express written consent of the author.

File Information

  Name Size Creation Date Date Uploaded Access
Adam_Kersch_DF-Approved-Application-Budget-Bibliography.pdf 395.68kb Apr 14, 2022 10:59:14 AM Public