Law, Difference, and Healthcare: Making Sense of Structural Racism in Medico-Legal History

Thu, Jun 6, 2019, 8:30 am to Fri, Jun 7, 2019, 12:30 pm
Sponsor(s): 
University Center for Human Values
Shelby Cullom Davis Center for Historical Studies
Department of African American Studies
Humanities Council
Program in History of Science
Program in Law and Public Affairs
Program in American Studies
Program in Gender & Sexuality Studies
Center for the Study of Religion
Department of Anthropology
Princeton Mellon Initiative in Architecture
Urbanism & the Humanities
Program in Latin American Studies

Keynote Speakers:

Deirdre Cooper Owens - author of "Medical Bondage: Race, Gender, and the Origins of American Gynecology";

Dayna Bowen Matthew - author of "Just Medicine: A Cure for Racial Inequality in American Health Care."

The four panels will engage historiograph(ies), spatialit(ies), legalit(ies) and communit(ies), as well as methodolog(ies).

This workshop shall convene graduate students, postdoctoral researchers, and faculty members who employ historical methodologies. We will examine the qualities and conditions that have produced the spaces, laws and legalities that structure racism in medicine, healthcare, public health and related social policy. In recent decades, many of these areas have been addressed through studies of the construction of “race” and genomics, specific diseases, clinical medicine and medical institutions.

Much work remains, however, to historicize the sociological concept of structural racism. Our workshop will remix approaches in the history of medicine and legal history. What does a medico-legal history that accounts for both individual and collective racism in medicine, space, law and its legalities look like? What historiographical interventions are today’s scholarship making? What new methodologies and archives are emerging?

Despite extensive work on structural determinants of health and the history of medical racism, racialized health disparities persist in the United States and globally. We will consider structural dimensions of health that have long been relegated to the margins of the field.

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