Graduation Year


Document Type




Degree Name

Master of Arts (M.A.)

Degree Granting Department


Major Professor

Ambar Basu, Ph.D.

Committee Member

Marleah Dean Kruzel, Ph.D.

Committee Member

Aisha Durham, Ph.D.

Committee Member

Lori Roscoe, Ph.D.


narrative medicine, postcolonial, racial projects, reproductive justice, patient-provider communication, medical racism, qualitative research


The goals of this project are twofold. The first goal is to articulate my sense making of reproductive health for Women of color in the United States as a postcolonial condition; one that I trace back to the logics of elimination of settler colonialism (Wolfe, 2006) and frame as maintained through the colonial institutions, or racial projects (Omi & Winant, 2015), of the Prison Industrial Complex, the welfare system, and the health care system which create and perpetuate dominant cultural narratives of “the welfare queen”, “the negligent Black mother”, and “the wily patient”. I show how these narratives colonize the minds of health care providers and contribute to the current stratification of health care.

My second goal with this project is to show how postcolonial interpretive ethnography can be used as a narrative medicine educational intervention for providers. Currently, Narrative Medicine asks providers to read themselves, their patients, and their interactions as literature to emphasize the personal and interpersonal tensions that are often lost in the fast paced biomedical world (Charon, 2001). With this project I aim to expand the field of Narrative Medicine to consider the ways patient-provider interactions are postcolonial, and how analyses of these interactions can be a method of decolonization. I do so by analyzing three interpretive ethnographic narratives that I have created which story my interactions with three Women of color: Tiffany, Rose, and Jane. I then analyze each of these interactions for colonizing and decolonizing sense making.

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