Sinks for the Press: Cholera and the State Performance of Power at the Dominican Border

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3 Scopus citations


With the outbreak of cholera in Haiti in 2010, the Dominican military's practices of surveillance restricted immigration and medicalized Haitian immigrant bodies by incorporating public health infrastructures into the process of crossing the border. This article argues that the Dominican state's reaction to the cholera outbreak along the border was less concerned with an actual threat than with presenting a performance intended to reinforce perceived national differences between the two countries of Hispaniola. By reading these public health and military reactions as performative, the research suggests a strategic narrative was played out, in which chaos and disease, viewed as Haitian, grate against projections of control and health in the Dominican Republic. By situating the border within discourses of national identity, health security, and state power, the Dominican state restricted border crossing, thus legitimizing the alienation of Haitians based on a criterion of health and the restructuring of economic allegiances that were historically deemed threatening to nation-making projects. [Dominican Republic, health, identity, migration, race].

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)338-362
Number of pages25
JournalJournal of Latin American and Caribbean Anthropology
Issue number2
StatePublished - Jul 2018
Externally publishedYes


  • República Dominicana
  • identidad
  • migración
  • raza
  • salud

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Anthropology


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