Julie Avril Minich is Associate Professor of English and Mexican American and Latina/o Studies at the University of Texas at Austin, coeditor of
Sugar, Shame, Love: Diabetic Latinidades
Because diabetes is so closely correlated to lifestyle, those experiencing it are often subjected to public shaming that is both insidious and overt, treated by family members, acquaintances, employee benefits administrators, journalists, and even health professionals as responsible for their condition. In response, Latinx cultural workers seek to imagine radical health in the face of a diabetes epidemic. This chapter begins with some thoughts about how diabetes might inform our evaluation of theories of embodiment and risk (focusing in particular on Lauren Berlant's slow death and Rob Nixon's slow violence). From this meditation, it moves into an analysis of texts (by Sonia Sotomayor, Tato Laviera, Virginia Grise and Irma Mayorga, and ire'ne lara silva) that simultaneously critique the social conditions that give rise to diabetes caseloads in Latinx communities and that reject the stigma associated with a diabetes diagnosis.