Fall 2020 Courses Addressing Racism

Race Matters! How Race and Racism Affect Health and Medicine

Chelsey Carter
(U69 Anthro 308M)

This courses grapples with the relationship between race, racism, health, and medicine-both in the United States and abroad. It examines the historical roots of medical racism, the role of medical and genetic research in constructing and deconstructing race as a biological concept, and the ways that systemic racism harms health. This course will also consider how race operates with other intersecting social and political identities (such as ethnicity, age, sex, gender, sexual orientation, class, disability, and more) to influence health outcomes. While anthropological and critical race theories will frame our learning, we will read broadly across other disciplines including (but not limited to), sociology, history of medicine, law, public health, and science and technology studies.

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Theoretical Foundations of the Movement for Black Lives 

Siddhant Issar
(U25 PolSci 330)

This course explores the theoretical underpinnings of the Black Lives Matter (BLM) movement and the Movement for Black Lives (M4BL) policy platform. Since its emergence, BLM has articulated an intersectional critique of anti-black violence in the United States (and, to a certain extent, globally). BLM and the larger M4BL coalition provide an in-depth analysis of the specific ways structures of oppression such as white supremacy, patriarchy, and racial capitalism affect Black populations. By historically, theoretically, and politically situating BLM and the M4BL policy platform in the context of Black radical thought, including but not limited to abolitionist thought, intersectionality, and conceptualizations of racial capitalism, we will trace the ways BLM and M4BL adopt and build on various lineages of critique to diagnose contemporary forms of anti-black violence.

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Decoding the City

Michael Allen
(U89 AMCS 492)

Does the space between a house and the sidewalk tell you something about class? Does a vacant lot on a dead-end street record the forced relocation of thousands of black residents? Can street names narrate the relationship between the growth of the city and national narratives of immigrant assimilation, continental expansion and world wars? The answer to these questions is yes, but it is far from obvious. The built environment of an American city like St. Louis can seem opaque and silent, when actually it is laden with social, economic, political, gender and racial meanings. This course unpacks St. Louis' built environment by drawing broad historic and theoretical readings on urban space to specific local sites. Readings will assist students in the interrogation of actual places in St. Louis through field visits, so that the streets become unquiet and the embedded meanings in plain sight. This is a hybrid course, with an online discussion component and weekly field work sessions.

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Introduction to Global Health

Alaina Schneider
(U69 Anthro 3281)

This course provides a general introduction to the field of public health. It examines the philosophy, history, organization, functions, activities, and results of public health research and practice. Case studies include infectious and chronic diseases, mental health, maternal and reproductive health, food safety and nutrition, environmental health, and global public health. Students are encouraged to look at health issues from a systemic and population level perspective, and to think critically about health systems and problems, especially health disparities and health care delivery to diverse populations. No background in anthropology or public health is required.

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