“Sugar, Shame, and Love: Reimagining Diabetic Latinidades”

Julie Avril Minich, Assistant Professor of English, University of Texas at Austin

September 17 @ 4:00 pm – 5:30 pm

This talk engages with disability theory in order to examine engagements with diabetes in works by contemporary Latinx writers and artists. Diabetic Latinx art responds to an urgent health crisis affecting Latinx communities throughout the United States; for instance, diagnosis rates among U.S. whites were reported at 7.4% in 2017, compared to 12.1% for Latinx populations. Because diabetes is so closely correlated to lifestyle, those experiencing it are often subjected to overt and insidious public shaming, treated by family members, acquaintances, employee benefits administrators, media pundits, and even health professionals as though they are to blame for their condition. In response, Latinx cultural workers addressing this crisis – like Tato Laviera, Gloria Anzaldúa, Aurora Levins Morales, Virginia Grise, Irma Mayorga, and ire’ne lara silva – work to represent Latinx people with diabetes with dignity and to treat the Latinx diabetic body as an object of love. Their work simultaneously politicizes the condition – prompting us to view the prevalence of diabetes in Latinx communities as inextricably linked to larger formations of race and class – and offers a compassionate view of those affected by it.

Wheelchair accessible, free, and open to the public. For ASL interpretation or other accessibility requests, please contact dazeps@wisc.edu by Sept 10th.

Co-sponsored by the English Department, Chican@ and Latin@ Studies, and UW Disability Studies Initiative. Funding provided by the Anonymous Fund.

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