The Building Publics Spring Graduate Series showcases how our Public Humanities Graduate Fellows bridge humanistic thinking with civic engagement; social justice with scholarly research; and public building with communication, in order to unleash new, more critical modes of scholarly imagination. Each year highlights a new, pressing theme.
This year Building Publics will convene under the heading Humanities Speak of Race. While it was particularly challenging to develop academic work through public ties in the context of lockdown, our fellows actively engaged in debates about privilege and race that are animating academia generally and the public humanities in particular. Over the weeks of the Building Publics series, we will learn about different ways organizations and fellows are attempting to together address and better understand these relations. Each workshop is curated by a graduate fellow or graduate collective, and will feature conversations with some of the community members and civic partners with whom they have worked in conceiving and implementing the projects.
This series is co-funded through the Addressing Racism: A Call to Action for Higher Education initiative of the Office of the Vice Provost for Faculty Advancement.
May 26th, 2021: Storytelling, Medical Inequities, and Intergenerational Knowledge: Diaspora Named and Archived
This week, the Building Public Series features the SoF/Heyman and Humanities New York Public Humanities fellow Tehya Boswell, who will present her project Diaspora Named and Archived, a collaboration between school teachers, high school students, and public health academics to foster intergenerational knowledge on medical history amidst communities of color—communities that carry a disproportionate weight of health inequality and lack valuable familial medical history that can help interrupt cycles of chronic health burden. DNA tests alternative modes of medical knowledge production—oral and intergenerational—as ways to begin addressing the racial inequities that determine health in New York City. Also speaking will be Kyle Norville, Tehya's counterpart on the project.