I’ve passed. Four weeks of non-stop writing, thinking, scribbling and worrying culminating in three hours of my stuttering, stammering, going blank, scribbling notes, laughing nervously and generally willing time to speed up (oh worm-hole, where were you?!), and i got four signatures.
I promptly wandered out, in a daze, and thought quite thoroughly about crying, changed my mind, and went with a friend (a co-Geography-PhC just back from the field) to have a lemonade. And a few french fries. She generously listened to me prattle on and on abou what an ass i made of myself and how excited i am about Next Steps. Visited another friend, met another PhC, who kindly gave me the look of sympathy i needed. It helped that, although she’s in Literature (American Lit), she also knows Geographers (Matt Willson – what-what!). She gave a sympathetic, “I cried my eyes out, afterward.”
It is what it is…
Two things came out of the exam (besides the utter horror at my inability to think on my feet) – i need to get going on that critical race theory that i’ve so inelegantly avoided and that i need to finish disentangling the strands of the capital-citizenship-place nexus.
How did we get there?
I do health citizenship geographies. So, what is citizenship, and how does health citizenship fit into this Millennial Development moment? The usurpation of state legitimacy – through so-called humanitarian intervention (Kosovo, Somalia, Haiti) as well as through global health programs (PEPFAR, USAID; Afghanistan, Hatiti) – has brought the legitimacy of the nation state as a territorially-bounded container into question. There’ve been politely ferocious debates about the de-territorialization and re-territorialization of the nation-state. Recently, there have been discussions of the transnationalization of citizenship. All of this, even in the humanitarian and global health projects, has been driven by money.
Think: who is funding GH projects? Where does that money go? GHP is a $21 billion a year industry – and growing. How many national health systems would that build? How many jobs? Instead, that money is used to buy American or European supplies and expertise. So, here we have a growing industry that is transnationally managing health. What does that do to citizenship?
Taking TH Marshall’s three citizenship projects – his was a utopic vision of an ever-expanding inclusionary progression – health citizenship emerges as a late-capitalist project that is both exclusionary and inclusionary through the very ways that health has become a vehicle for extra-national social service delivery. Targeted health programs create variable health citizenships through enclaving – Who resides within a particular space (place?) – IDP camps, a remote African village, a city; What diagnosis they have – HIV/AIDS, TB, malaria; What demographic they are – women, children, mine-laborers, prostitutes, orphans – these are all markers for enclaving. So then what happens?
There is the inclusionary aspect in the provision of health services. (yay!) There is an exclusion based on a lack of particular specification (boo!). There is negotiation happening to identify through biological markers (citizenship? – see Rose and Braun’s discussion on this point). But to the detriment of political, social and economic citizenship (refer, TH Marshall)…
There’s something there…there is something emerging. But what? Where is that point of juncture…I think i know what i’ll be chewing on for the next several months. (Years?)