Mediathek Event
Nov 17, 2020
Gendered Knowledges in Times of Crisis


"Covid-19 and the Racialization of Mistrust"

Evelynn Hammonds

As the pandemic of Covid-19 continues in the United States with a terrifying increase in cases and deaths—including 176,309 new cases this past week; 76,000 hospitalizations;  and nearly 100,000 deaths—attention has turned in part to the development of vaccines against this deadly disease. Public health leaders, medical researchers, and pharmaceutical companies are struggling to enlist African Americans and Latinx individuals into clinical trials for the new vaccines. 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.


"Acute and the Chronic: Temporalities of Medical Authority in an Epidemic"

Dóra Vargha

In the 1950s, epidemic outbreaks of polio swept across the globe, a debilitating disease that left thousands of children paralysed in its wake. The treatment of polio—respiratory care, surgical interventions, and physiotherapy—intersected with dynamically changing notions of urgency, emergency, and permanency. 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. Through the lens of women and children’s agency in treatment at a Hungarian hospital, 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. 


About the Institute's Colloquium Series 2020/21

Institute's Colloquium: Gendered Knowledges in Times of Crisis