Latin American Studies ETDs

Publication Date



This research work investigated how emerging health discourses on malaria are revamping colonial legacies and turning them into structural violence in contemporary Suriname. By critically surveying the colonial past and ongoing post-colonial transitioning in Suriname, using a biopolitics-theory approach and recent medical anthropology to depict health discourses and structural violence, and tapping on the field of Critical Discourse Analysis as ethnomethodology, thirteen medical reports--issued from 2010 to 2014--were examined in order to demonstrate how a discourse of exclusion, inequality, and 'social wrong' endures colonial violence in post-colonial Suriname. Throughout the examination of these contentious medical reports produced by operative medical research units inside and outside Suriname, it is challenged the claim 'man-made malaria' employed by these medical research units to negatively designate some Surinamese mining/border communities, treating them not only as a marginalized endemic social group but, more problematically, as unsanitary/illegal populations infected with a presumably 'drug-resistant malaria,' an allegation mainly supported upon an elaborated biomedicalized anti-malaria narrative. After building an analytical category designated 'biopolitical configuration,' in combination with a discourse analysis framework, all medical reports were assessed through a coding matrix--exclusively designed for this purpose--to make legible those textual markers that, rhetorically articulated, produce a language of exclusion against the targeted populations. The conclusion presents important and disturbing connections found in this emerging biomedical narrative of exclusion, entangling not only legacies of post-colonial legacies in Suriname, but also the purportedly invisibilation of this Latin American sub-region by global intervening forces related to large biomedical complexes.

Project Sponsors

Fulbright - LASPAU Program




Malaria, Biopolitics, Health/Disease Discourses, Post-Colonial Suriname, Political Subjectivities

Document Type


Degree Name

Latin American Studies

Level of Degree


Department Name

Latin American Studies

First Committee Member (Chair)

Judy, Bieber

Second Committee Member

Erin Debenport

Third Committee Member