Journal of Medical Humanities

, Volume 36, Issue 2, pp 127–139 | Cite as

“Grappling to Think Clearly”: Vernacular Theorizing in Robbie McCauley’s Sugar

  • Sheila Bock


This article examines Robbie McCauley’s Sugar, focusing on how this solo performance work opens up discursive spaces for a range of voices and perspectives. I argue that the ideas expressed in Sugar work as a type of vernacular theorizing, questioning the means by which certain perspectives and ways of knowing are valued over others. In the conclusion, I suggest how Sugar could serve as a model for health professionals involved in the fight again diabetes, as it opens up opportunities for dialogue and makes visible the processual nature of people’s attempts to make sense of the disease.


Illness narrative Performance Diabetes African American Vernacular theorizing 



I would like to express my gratitude to Robbie McCauley, whose generosity with both her time and her insights made core contributions to the development of this article. I would also like to thank Marie Cieri, who first introduced me to McCauley and her work, as well as Dorothy Noyes, Amy Shuman, Katherine Borland, and Diane Goldstein for their valuable feedback on earlier drafts.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Interdisciplinary Degree ProgramsUniversity of Nevada, Las VegasLas VegasUSA

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