Congratulations to Nicole Charles, whose book, Suspicion: Vaccines, Hesitancy and the Affective Politics of Protection in Barbados published by Duke University Press will share the 2022 Gordon K. and Sybil Lewis Award with Erotic Cartographies by Krystal Nandini Ghisawan and published by Rutgers University Press, which the Caribbean Studies Association presents and which will be awarded next week at the CSA Annual Meeting. The Gordon K. and Sybil Lewis Award recognizes works that contribute to the theoretical understanding of historical and/or contemporary issues within a discipline of the broader field of Caribbean Studies and offer new avenues of research and thinking about the Caribbean.
From Duke University Press:
In 2014 Barbados introduced a vaccine to prevent certain strains of the human papillomavirus (HPV) and reduce the risk of cervical cancer in young women. Despite the disproportionate burden of cervical cancer in the Caribbean, many Afro-Barbadians chose not to immunize their daughters. In Suspicion, Nicole Charles reframes Afro-Barbadian vaccine refusal from a question of hesitancy to one of suspicion. Drawing on ethnographic fieldwork, black feminist theory, transnational feminist studies and science and technology studies, Charles foregrounds Afro-Barbadians’ gut feelings and emotions and the lingering trauma of colonial and biopolitical violence. She shows that suspicion, far from being irrational, is a fraught and generative affective orientation grounded in concrete histories of mistrust of government and coercive medical practices foisted on colonized peoples. By contextualizing suspicion within these longer cultural and political histories, Charles troubles traditional narratives of vaccine hesitancy while offering new entry points into discussions on racialized biopolitics, neocolonialism, care, affect, and biomedicine across the Black diaspora.