Rethinking Health and Power during Times of Crisis

29.10.2020, Panel Series, online

Part 2 of Virtual Panel Series Racism in History and Context | 3pm - 4:30pm ET | Panelists: Manuela Boatcă, (University of Freiburg), Teresa Koloma Beck (Bundeswehr University Munich), Monica Muñoz Martinez (UT Austin), and Kathryn Olivarius (Stanford) | Moderators: Elisabeth Engel (GHI Washington) and Leti Volpp (UC Berkeley)

This is part 2 of the panel series “Racism in History and Context” presented by the German Historical Association, the German Historical Institute Washington and its Pacific Regional Office, and the Institute of European Studies at University of California, Berkeley

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The panel aims to inquire the role of racism in the history of epidemics and the history of state violence. This brings to light very specific problems in the various countries. Even though the overall phenomenon has characteristic features, in every society it is the result of specific historical processes and must therefore be understood and discussed in the historical context.

Posed by both the coronavirus pandemic and US police officers’ use of violence against African-Americans, the risk of physical harm has been quickly conceived as major feature of the current crisis. Governments and citizens in the US, Europe and beyond squarely agree that ethnic and racial minorities are disproportionately imperiled due to longstanding and systemic disadvantages. We observe a long tradition of this phenomenon. Crises and foremost pandemics reveal predetermined breaking points of societies and among those structural racism.

The first panel "Rethinking Memory and Knowledge during Times of Crisis" focused on conflicting memory cultures to shed light on narratives and practices of racist inequality which gained particular relevance as a framework for understanding the consequences of the current epidemic. A recording is available on our Vimeo channel