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Politics, Performance, and Pseudoscience

When Feb 19, 2021
from 12:00 PM to 01:00 PM
Where webinar
Contact Name

For the first time in its publication history, The New England Journal of Medicine endorsed a candidate during the 2020 U.S. presidential election. While the journal's editorial was heralded as an unprecedented move, the politicization of science has always been a concerted point of inquiry in American health and medicine, not least of all during the nineteenth century. Drawing on the (bio)politics of science in our contemporary moment, this webinar takes a historical approach to explore how the politicization of science is intertwined with performance, plasticity, and pseudoism. Crucially, this webinar invites us to ask: What are the afterlives of these methods in current theories of health? Who are the usual "patients" of such techniques? And most importantly, how might literature help us imagine different possibilities for the politics of science?

Panelists include:

  • Sari Altschuler, Associate Professor of English, Northeastern University, and author of The Medical Imagination: Literature and Health in the Early United States (Penn Press, 2018)
  • Christine (Xine) Yao, Lecturer, University College London, and author of Disaffected: The Cultural Politics of Unfeeling in Nineteenth-Century America (under contract with Duke UP)
  • Charles Willoughby, Visiting Fellow, Center for Humanities and Information, Penn State, and author of Masters of Health: Racial Science and Slavery in American Medical Schools (under contract with UNC Press)

Please register in advance for the symposium here:

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