Matthew Davidson

Health under occupation: Haitian encounters with U.S. imperial medicine, 1915-1934

Matthew Davidson

Award: Doctoral Completion Award


Institution : University of Miami

From 1915 until 1934, the United States militarily-occupied Haiti. This project examines that occupation and the multiple ways it impacted Haiti’s public health. The work considers how and why U.S. Americans acted on matters of health, what such U.S.-led public health activities meant for the Caribbean country, and how Haitians, in turn, both engaged with and contested the occupation project. It challenges the still-prevailing occupation-era claim that the U.S. had greatly improved health conditions in Haiti and that the health interventions were widely appreciated by the Haitian people, neither of which were necessarily true.