2017 Black New England Conference
The Science and Engineering of Race: Living Through the Archives
October 20-21, 2017
11th ANNUAL BLACK NEW ENGLAND CONFERENCE
and Awards Dinner
Huddleston Hall, University of New Hampshire
Modern medical and social sciences have made some extraordinary advances through the exploitation of Black bodies while simultaneously allowing myths of racial inferiority to continue as justification for centuries of enslavement and political disenfranchisement.
From the Tuskegee syphilis experiment to the unethical use of Henrietta Lacks’ cells to engineer a polio vaccine, to the ongoing forced sterilization of Black women in clinics and prisons, the story of American scientific advancement carries with it a shadow story of ethical corruption, pain, and silencing. The insidious parallel fictions of the innate athleticism, super strength and natural rhythm of African people are rooted in pseudo-scientific research and writings.
In unpacking this theme, conference presenters will examine the historical and current impact of “race science” and pseudoscientific movements to present “race as destiny” on fields of inquiry ranging on areas of modern medicine and health care, reproductive rights, public policy, criminal law, civil rights, athletics, educational access, and effects on the arts and entertainment industries.
Panelists and speakers will demonstrate ways that African-American intellectuals, activists, artists, and social scientists have grappled with the complexities of “race science” and its contemporary iterations in popular culture. Additionally, through specific examples, such as the reclaiming of Portsmouth’s colonial-era African Burying Ground, presenters will examine how the unprecedented popularity of genetic testing is affecting race relations in America today.
Through discussion of these medical and forensic abuses, the conference will uncover past and present applications of scientific fictions that have codified racial hierarchies and sustained pervasive beliefs with public policies that continue to shape all areas of American life.
Conference Panels Include:
- Hidden Figures: Reintroducing Regional Black Scientists & Innovators
- In the Name of Science: A Film Discussion
- Out of The Shadows: A Conversation with Shelly Walcott & Katherine Sanders
- Tracing Genetic Ancestry & Reclaiming Black Spaces
- Inventing Race: Science, Medicine & Big Business
- Skeletons in Our Closet: Anthropology’s Role in Constructing and Deconstructing the Science of Race
- Afrofuturism: The Way Forward
The Black New England Conference, now in its 11th year, is a regularly occurring 2-day gathering to share insights and scholarly work on Black experiences, past and present, in New England. Recent keynote speakers at the conferences have included comedian and activist Dick Gregory, columnist Derrick Jackson, actor and activist Sheryl Lee Ralph, director John W. Franklin, playwright Lydia Diamond, author Lorene Carey, and Professors James Campbell and James O. Horton, with topical presentations by professional and independent scholars, community researchers, writers, artists, and activists. The Conference is both an academic conference and a celebration of Black life and history.
2017 Citizen of the Year Award Recipient
The 2017 Black New England Conference is Sponsored by:
Endowment for Health; Eastern Bank; TD Bank; Delta Dental; Exeter Hospital; Center for New England Culture; Office of the Provost; Office of Community, Equity and Diversity; Carsey School of Public Policy; College of Engineering and Physical Sciences; Center for the Humanities; Department of English; Engagement and Academic Outreach; UNH Graduates School; Dean's Office College of Liberal Arts; The President's Commissions; Office of Multicultural Student Affairs; Women's Studies
For more information, contact JerriAnne Boggis @ firstname.lastname@example.org or call 617-539-6886