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The Disappearing Clinic

  • Tess Lanzarotta
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Abstract

Copyright

Footnotes

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The author would like to thank Alka V. Menon, Sarah M. Pickman, Maya C. Sandler, Beans Velocci, and the anonymous reviewers whose insightful comments have greatly improved this essay.

Footnotes

References

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1 Meredith, Susan, Gair, with Kitty and Schwinge, Elaine, Alaska's Search for a Killer: A Seafaring Medical Adventure, 1946–1948 (Juneau, AK, 1998), 15.

2 More, Ellen S., Restoring the Balance: Women Physicians and the Profession of Medicine, 1850–1995 (Cambridge, MA, 2001), 182. Margaret Rossiter points out that women scientists also often found themselves pushed out of jobs, or realized that they were not hired at all, based on the assumption that they would get married. See Rossiter, Margaret W., Women Scientists in America: Before Affirmative Action, 1940–1972 (Baltimore, MD, 1998), xvi.

3 Meredith, Alaska's Search for a Killer, 1–5.

4 Jordan, Nancy, Frontier Physician: The Life and Legacy of Dr. C. Earl Albrecht (Kenmore, WA, 1996), 103.

5 Jordan, Frontier Physician, 103–4. See also Medicine in Alaska Oral History Project Transcripts, MC-0175, folder 1, “C. Earl Albrecht,” University of Alaska-Anchorage, Archives and Special Collections (UAA-ASC), hereafter “Albrecht,” UAA-ASC.

6 Fortuine, Robert, Must We All Die? Alaska's Enduring Struggle with Tuberculosis (Fairbanks, AK, 2005), 67. On the militarization of Alaska during World War II more generally, see Naske, Claus-M. and Slotnick, Herman, Alaska: A History of the 49th State (Norman, OK, 1987); Haycox, Stephen W., Alaska: An American Colony (Seattle, WA, 2002); and Chandonnet, Fern, ed., Alaska at War, 1941–1945: The Forgotten War Remembered (Fairbanks, AK, 2008).

7 While the various individuals involved in the campaign had their own reasons for supporting it, this overarching logic was made clear in a series of reports on the state of health in the Alaska Territory. See Barnett, Harry, Fields, Jack, and Milles, George, “Medical Conditions in Alaska: A Report by a Group Sent by the American Medical Association,” Journal of the American Medical Association 135, no. 8 (1947): 500–10; and Parran, Thomas, ed., Alaska's Health: A Survey Report to the United States Department of the Interior (Pittsburgh, 1954). By the 1930s, the notion that Indigenous peoples were pure and free of disease prior to white contact had largely been replaced, in both medicine and popular culture, by concerns that they were disproportionately diseased and posed a threat to the health of white settlers. See Kelm, Mary Ellen, “Diagnosing the Discursive Indian: Medicine, Gender, and the ‘Dying Race,’Ethnohistory 52, no. 2 (Spring 2005): 371406.

8 “Albrecht,” UAA-ASC.

9 See Jordan, Frontier Physician; and Meredith, Alaska's Search for a Killer.

10 Reiser, Stanley Joel, Medicine and the Reign of Technology (Cambridge, UK, 1978).

11 Stevenson, Lisa, Life Beside Itself: Imagining Care in the Canadian Arctic (Oakland, CA, 2014), 73. See also Stevenson, Lisa, “The Psychic Life of Biopolitics: Survival, Cooperation, and Inuit Community,” American Ethnologist 39, no. 3 (Aug. 2012): 592613. Stevenson is building upon Michel Foucault's classic formulation of biopower as the state's capacity to “make live and let die.” See Foucault, Michel, Society Must Be Defended: Lectures at the Collège de France, 1975–1976 (New York, 2003).

12 Ibid., 4.

13 See McCallum, Mary Jane Logan and Perry, Adele, Structures of Indifference: An Indigenous Life and Death in a Canadian City (Winnipeg, MB, 2018), 142. On settler colonialism as a structure, see Wolfe, Patrick, “Settler Colonialism and the Elimination of the Native,” Journal of Genocide Research 8, no. 4 (Dec. 2006): 387409.

14 Meredith, Alaska's Search for a Killer, 7.

15 Latour, Bruno, “Give Me a Lab and I Will Raise the World,” in The Science Studies Reader, ed. Biagioli, Mario (London, 1999), 258–75.

16 Meredith, Alaska's Search for a Killer, 40.

17 Ibid., 59.

18 Radin, Joanna, “Digital Natives”: How Medical and Indigenous Histories Matter for Big Data,” Osiris 32, no. 1 (2017): 4364. As Radin points out, when statistics are made in colonial contexts, they are often used to reproduce the same problematic power dynamics that led to their construction. This has certainly held true in the case of tuberculosis epidemics in both Alaska and the Canadian Arctic. Statistics on tuberculosis rates justified further interventions, which anthropologists have suggested have had enduring and emotionally harmful consequences for Indigenous people. See Green, Linda G., “To Die in the Silence of History: Tuberculosis Epidemics and Yup'ik Peoples of Southwestern Alaska,” in Confronting Capital: Critique and Engagement in Anthropology, eds. Barber, Pauline Gardiner, Leach, Belinda, and Lem, Winnie (New York, 2012), 97112; Green, Linda B., “The Utter Normalization of Violence: Silence, Memory and Impunity Among the Yup'ik People of Southwestern Alaska,” in Violence Expressed: An Anthropological Approach, eds. Six-Hohenbalken, Maria and Weiss, Nerina (Burlington, VT, 2011), 2136; and Stevenson, Life Beside Itself.

19 On the imperative to “cooperate” with biopolitics regimes of life, see chapter 2 of Stevenson, Life Beside Itself.

20 Ibid., 235.

21 Kitty Gair Collection (KGC), MS 284, folder 16 “M/S Hygiene: Doctors Narrative Reports, 1946-1951,” box 2, Alaska State Library Historical Collections (ASL).

22 Meredith, Alaska's Search for a Killer, 77.

23 KGC, MS 284, folder 16 “M/S Hygiene: Doctors Narrative Reports, 1946–1951,” box 2, ASL.

24 Meredith, Alaska's Search for a Killer, 25.

25 Ibid., 35.

26 Stevenson, Life Beside Itself, 31.

27 Meredith, Alaska's Search for a Killer, 108.

28 KGC, MS 284, folder 14, “M/S Hygiene: Nurse's Reports, 1946–1951,” box 2, ASL.

29 Meredith, Alaska's Search for a Killer, 108.

30 KGC, MS 284, folder 16, “M/S Hygiene: Doctors Narrative Reports, 1946–1951,” box 2, ASL.

31 Alaska Nurses’ Association Collection, HM-1107, folder 1, “Kitty Gair Correspondence,” box 36, UAA-ASC.

32 KGC, MS 284, folder 16 “M/S Hygiene: Doctors Narrative Reports, 1946–1951,” box 2, ASL.

33 Meredith, Alaska's Search for a Killer, 76.

34 KGC, MS 284, folder 39, “Memoirs of Naomi Fox: Alaskan Frontier Nurse,” box 2, ASL.

35 McCallum and Perry, Structures of Indifference.

36 On the sociological meaning of haunting, see Gordon, Avery F., Ghostly Matters: Haunting and the Sociological Imagination (Minneapolis, MN, 2008).

The author would like to thank Alka V. Menon, Sarah M. Pickman, Maya C. Sandler, Beans Velocci, and the anonymous reviewers whose insightful comments have greatly improved this essay.

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