Essential/Disposable: A Medical History

Current COVID19 practices demonstrate how American identities and institutions need and disavow Latina/o labor. Since the 1895 Immigration Act, ableist restrictions on hemispheric mobility became part and parcel of an increasingly transnational U.S. identity and a growing reliance on medical authority. Since that date, medical professionals like Alirio Diaz Guevara, Jose Celso Barbosa, Jorge Prieto, Mary Headley Treviño and Helen Rodriguez Trias have negotiated the simultaneous recruitment of Latina/o skills and rejection of reciprocal obligations. This paper tracks ebbs and flows in this relationship.

John Mckiernan-González
Associate Professor in the Department of History at Texas State University at San Marcos, where he specializes in Mexican American History, Latino Studies, Social and Cultural History of Medicine, and Immigration History