Julia Cummiskey

Department of History, University of Tennessee Chattanooga

2023 to 2024
Research Fellow

Selling Wellness: Marketing Materials, Behaviors, and Services for Improved Health in Modern Africa

Combining histories of Africa, business, and medicine and global health, this project investigates strategies used by corporations, medical service providers, and public health campaigns to promote consumption of products and adoption of behaviors and procedures in the name of health in the past century. It examines marketing materials and documents relating to their conception, implementation, and reception for insight into how producers of medical products in and outside Africa understood and shaped the gendered, political, and cultural identities of potential consumers. The project will make a major contribution to our understanding of the way that past, present, and future global health interventions in Africa interact with local ideas about and knowledge of health products, behaviors, and services; how social, political, and cultural developments affect design and reception of health-related messaging; and how the public and private sectors interacted, converged, and diverged over time in the spheres of health and medicine.