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As news spread that more women died from breast and cervical cancer in India than anywhere else in the world in the early twenty-first century, global public health planners accelerated efforts to prevent, screen, and treat these reproductive cancers in low-income Indian communities. Cancer and the Kali Yuga reveals that women who are the targets of these interventions in Tamil Nadu, South India, hold views about cancer causality, late diagnosis, and challenges to accessing treatment that differ from the public health discourse. Cecilia Coale Van Hollen's critical feminist ethnography centers and amplifies the voices of Dalit Tamil women who situate cancer within the nexus of their class, caste, and gender positions. Dalit women's narratives about their experiences with cancer present a powerful and poignant critique of the sociocultural and political-economic conditions that marginalize them and jeopardize their health and well-being in twenty-first-century India.
About the Author
Cecilia Coale Van Hollen is a medical anthropologist and Teaching Professor in the Asian Studies Program of the Edmund A. Walsh School of Foreign Service at Georgetown University. She is the author of Birth on the Threshold: Childbirth and Modernity in South India and Birth in the Age of AIDS: Women, Reproduction, and HIV/AIDS in India.