CONFERENCE: Race and Biomedicine Beyond the Lab: 21st Century Mobilizations

26th-27th SEPTEMBER 2019, KING’S COLLEGE LONDON

PROPOSALS DUE 1 JULY 2019
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This two-day interdisciplinary conference will be an important step toward building an international research network that focuses on the ways that race and biomedicine are mobilized beyond the lab in the 21st century. We seek to foreground how non-scientists are at the forefront of novel, plural, generative deployments of biomedical ideas of race that either entrench or resist historical ideas about race and its relation to biology across domains of environments, markets, and human rights.

Biomedical ideas of race have conventionally operated in two oppositional ways: notions of race as genetic or biological truth; and, conversely, accounts of health and health disparities as products of racism rather than caused by race itself. Debates about these opposing logics have never been completely cordoned off into domains of biomedical experts, but they are increasingly moving beyond the lab, and being deployed in diverse ways. Nonscientists are at the forefront of a range of deployments. On the one hand, biomedical ideas of race are being used by broader stakeholders to maintain historically entrenched ideas about race (e.g. pathologization of racialized groups to justify political repression and social service marginalization). On the other hand, biomedical ideas of race are also strategically mobilized in alternative directions, to stake claims and resist race-based injustice (e.g. identifying bodies in mass graves as racially indigenous in order to ground genocide claims in international courts).

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EXHIBITION: ​​New Age, New Age: Strategies for Survival

April 25 – August 11, 2019
DePaul Art Museum
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​​New Age, New Age: Strategies for Survival is an exhibition of work from the last fifteen years by contemporary artists who appropriate, critique, or embrace “New Age” aesthetics and concerns from a 21st century perspective. Emerging in the 1960s and 1970s against a backdrop of war, social strife and a crisis of modernity, the multifaceted New Age “movement” was characterized by alternative approaches to traditional Western culture, with an interest in spirituality, mysticism, holism, and environmentalism. It embodied a complicated conflation of politics, religion, science, social communities, art, music, and self-realization. Often dismissed for its association with drugged out hippies or flower-power children, how can New Age philosophies and practices be reconsidered today as relevant movement for social change and wellness?

Artists include:
Maikoiyo Alley-Barnes, Lise Haller Baggesen, Alun Be, Elijah Burgher, D. Denenge Duyst-Akpem, Whit Forrester, Desirée Holman, Cathy Hsiao, Michiko Itatani, Rashid Johnson, Marva Lee Pitchford-Jolly, Jenny Kendler, Liz Magic Laser, Matt Morris, Shana Moulton, Heidi Norton, Tony Oursler, Mai-Thu Perret, Robert Pruitt, Bob Ross, Luis A. Sahagun, Mindy Rose Schwartz, Suzanne Treister, Rhonda Wheatley, Megan Whitmarsh and Jade Gordon, Saya Woolfalk​

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Facebook Society: Losing Ourselves in Sharing Ourselves: Reviewed by Amy Ione

According to Roberto Simanowski, the author of Facebook Society: Losing Ourselves in Sharing Ourselves, this volume isn’t a book about Facebook. Rather his concern is what he calls Facebook society. His starting point is Facebook’s claim that it is building a “global community,” and his underlying assumption is that social-media platforms have altered social interaction, political life, and outlooks on the world, even for people who do not regularly use them. Bringing boundless enthusiasm to how Facebook and other social apps create community, this cultural studies perspective both celebrates networked society and offers a critique of problematic elements derived from digital communities, with a particular focus on our concept of the self.

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Video Review: The Loving Story

Reviewed by Amy Ione, The Diatrope Institute, Berkeley, CA 94704 USA
PDF

Ironically, as I was wondering where to begin this review today, I noticed a car with two bumper stickers matching the sentiments I was tossing around in my mind. One read: “Hate is easy. Love takes courage.” The other said: “Got Constitution?” Both relate to the details of the Loving case, in which the United States Supreme Court legalized interracial marriage [or, held laws against interracial marriage to be unconstitutional, (prompted by a suit brought against the Commonwealth of Virginia by Richard and Mildred Loving)]. The Lovings, the key figures in this case, are captured in The Loving Story video, a film produced by Nancy Buirski and Elisabeth Haviland James and available through Icarus Films.

Married in Washington, D.C. on June 2, 1958, Richard Loving and Mildred Jeter returned home to Virginia where their marriage was declared illegal because he was white and she was black and Native American. At that time, anti-miscegenation laws – laws against interracial marriage – existed in 16 states. These kinds of laws are a typical consequence of states rights in the United States, a mechanism that allows different geographical areas to reflect the mores (and biases) of specific parts of the country.

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