Tag: Racism

The Essential Problem: Essential Workers Category and Vaccine Roll-Outs

In November, the American Medical Association (AMA) declared, “Racism is a threat to public health.” In doing so, the AMA finally stated outright what many of us in the humanities and social sciences have been saying for decades – “the primary drivers of racial health inequality are systemic and structural racism, racism and unconscious bias… Read more →

The Racist Lady with the Lamp

Nursing historiography is centered on whiteness. Even worse, nursing history revolves largely around a single white nurse: Florence Nightingale. This, unfortunately, doesn’t mean nurses understand who Nightingale was. There are nurse historians doing incredible and diverse work, but in general, nursing, both as a profession and as an academic discipline, promotes a view of Nightingale… Read more →

The Little Suffragist Doll: Cotton, White Supremacy, and Sweet Little Dolls

What does a pattern for doll-making have to tell us about the racial and gender politics of American suffragists in the 1910s? The Little Suffragist Doll sewing pattern from 1914 seems quite simple. Her front and back printed on cotton cloth, this smiling little doll-in-waiting begs to be made three-dimensional. She is rosy-cheeked and bedecked… Read more →

Asymptomatic Lethality: Cooper, COVID-19, and the Potential for Black Death

Black people in the United States have long known that all white people, at any time, have the potential to hurt them. For centuries, white people have had easy access to histories of racial power and deploy them, almost like a pathogen, against Black people. Against people like me. Before the country erupted into a… Read more →

Absolutely Disgusting: Wet Markets, Stigma Theory, and Xenophobia

Since the initial descriptions of cases of a novel coronavirus in Wuhan, there has been a persistent focus on “wet markets” and their role in spreading the virus. Wet markets are similar to farmers’ markets, offering stalls selling fresh meat and produce, with some markets featuring the slaughtering of animals on-site, which can – albeit… Read more →

Amor Vincit Omnia

On June 23, 2016, I flew to London with my husband after a research trip in Germany. There were storms that night and the flight was delayed several hours; we arrived close to midnight. A friend picked us up and drove us through a torrential downpour into central London. In her car, listening to the… Read more →

The Racist Misogyny behind Your “Does My Butt Look Fat in This?”: Reading Sabrina Strings’ Fearing the Black Body: The Racial Origins of Fat Phobia

Every so often, a book comes out that arrives as both an answer to a question and an answer to a prayer. For me, Sabrina Strings’s Fearing the Black Body: The Racial Origins of Fat Phobia is emphatically both. My scholarly superpower, and an annoying one it is too, is finding the holes in the… Read more →

Marie Kondo and Books: Tidying Up the Misconceptions

The Netflix reality TV show Tidying Up with Marie Kondo premiered on January 1, 2019. Based on her bestselling book The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up: The Japanese Art of Decluttering and Organizing (2014), the show follows Kondo as she brings her process into the homes of a diverse cast of clients. Her process, called… Read more →

Pokémon Go, Before and After August 12

Before I. It is early summer, 2018. I am a Virginian, but I have just moved to Charlottesville, Virginia after many years living in the North. I have brought with me my habit of playing Pokémon Go. In Pokémon Go, players use a smartphone app to track cartoon animals around physical space. The game populates… Read more →

Rocky Mountain Racism

This past May at the Cannes Film Festival, Spike Lee screened his latest movie, BlacKkKlansman. The audience gave the film an extended standing ovation and Variety’s chief film critic, Peter Debruge, later wrote, “If D.W. Griffith’s The Birth of a Nation was ‘like writing history with lightning,’ as Woodrow Wilson described it way back in… Read more →