Sun, Aug 16 at 4 p.m. | 120 minutes
| This will be four sessions and include weekly optional office hours.
Courses: Participants will be able to engage on their own time with the pre-recorded lectures and curated materials (readings, podcast links, interviews, and film). These will be used as the fuel for the live Zoom discussions with the professor.
The violence of white supremacy and the racism built into our society’s medical establishments have been laid bare by Covid-19. Indeed, while death may be universal, we do not all expire in equitable deathbeds. A great equalizer? Hardly. Death is a revelator.
The Great Revelator: The Exploitation of the Black Body from Slavery to Covid 19
The Great Equalizer? Andrew Cuomo said it. Madonna too. The virus, they both claimed, would act upon society as some mythic leveler, with no discernable targets. While it is true that this virus is not motivated by any political agenda, it is a mistake to characterize its effects as commensurate. The loss and despair it has wreaked reveal the fundamental cracks and fissures of our nation’s broken social fabric. The violence of white supremacy and the racism built into our society’s medical establishments have been laid bare by Covid-19. Indeed, while death may be universal, we do not all expire in equitable deathbeds. A great equalizer? Hardly. Death is a revelator.
This four-part Olio seminar explores the ways that the black body has been used by white supremacy to serve its violent end. Combining a historical perspective with a sociological analysis, Professors Sheldon Applewhite and Jamie Warren will examine four distinct moments in the American past in which the dead and dying black body has been used to bolster white Americans’ insidious claims to power. Jamie Warren will teach the first two classes. She will begin with an examination of the enslaved corpses during the antebellum period, and will follow with a second class on the “black mortality thesis” which emerged during the Reconstruction era. Sheldon Applewhite will bring our focus to the 20th century and the present, teaching class three on the HIV/AIDS epidemic that took place in urban centers across the United States including New York City. He will finish with an examination of the current COVID-19 Pandemic in the United States. Using a sociological and historical lens, Drs. Sheldon Applewhite and Jamie Warren look at these specific historical periods and discuss the various ways the Black Body is exploited, experimented on, and used as collateral damage in the U.S. effort to curb disease and assist in the growth of capitalism using the theoretical frameworks of Pierre Bourdieu, Michel Foucault, Cathy Cohen, Patricia Hill Collins, and Roxanne Gay.
In addition to a traditional lecture, each class will devote time to discussion of the week’s reading, and some Q and A between Sheldon and Jamie, and all seminar participants. There will also be weekly office hours for further discussion. This seminar will not disappoint. Fierce friends and dedicated colleagues, Sheldon and Jamie are eager to work together to bring you this transformative learning experience.
Session 1: The Corpse in Antebellum Slavery
Session 2: The Black Mortality Thesis
Session 3: The Black Body and the HIV/AIDS Epidemic
Session 4: COVID-19 Disease and Black Bodies
Zoom link will be sent upon signup.
This will be four sessions and include weekly optional office hours.