Institute's Colloquium: Gendered Knowledges in Times of Crisis
Developing from the MPIWG's History of Science ON CALL video project, the Institute’s Colloquium 2020/21 seeks to bring to the fore various insights into local, regional, and international cooperation and academic work prompted by Covid-19.
"Covid-19 and the Racialization of Mistrust"
As the pandemic of Covid-19 continues in the United States with a terrifying increase in cases and deaths, attention has turned in part to the development of vaccines against this deadly disease. However, to date only small percentages of people of color are participating in these trials. The reasons offered by media and health experts focuses on the long-standing mistrust of African Americans of the white dominated health care system. This lecture addresses the consequences of the racialization of "mistrust" for the control of Covid-19 in the United States.
Professor Hammonds is the Barbara Gutmann Rosenkrantz Professor of the History of Science and Professor of African and African American Studies and current chair of the Department of the History of Science at Harvard University. She was the first Senior Vice Provost for Faculty Development and Diversity at Harvard University (2005–08). From 2008–13 she served as Dean of Harvard College. Professor Hammonds’ areas of research include the histories of science, medicine, and public health in the United States; race and gender in science studies; feminist theory and African American history.
"Acute and the Chronic: Temporalities of Medical Authority in an Epidemic"
In the 1950s, epidemic outbreaks of polio swept across the globe, a debilitating disease that left thousands of children paralysed in its wake. In this nexus, children, parents, nurses, physical therapists, and iron lung patients played crucial roles in creating, negotiating, and maintaining medical care and knowledge. Doing so, they actively engaged with the framework of state paternalism and the political rhetoric of gender equality. This talk explores the shifting temporalities of outbreaks, hospital treatment, and the life course of patients to interrogate medical authority and decision-making in epidemic contexts.
Dóra Vargha is Senior Lecturer based at the Department of History and the Wellcome Centre for Cultures and Environments of Health. She is co-editor of the journal Social History of Medicine. Her work spans from the politics of epidemic management to public health systems and access to therapeutics. She has written on the global infrastructure of diphtheria antitoxin, the politics of vaccination in the Cold War, hospital care of disabled children in communist contexts and about shifting epidemic narratives in historical analysis.