Bard College Berlin Presents
Thursday, November 30, 2017

"Measuring the Afterlives of Colonialism"

Bard College Berlin Lecture Hall
On November 30, 2017 Bard College Berlin will welcome Sarah Blacker from the Max Planck Institute for the History of Science for a guest lecture on "Measuring the Afterlives of Colonialism: Indigenous Health in Twentieth Century Canada." The lecture takes place in the frame of the class "Science and Race," led by Rodolfo Garau and Ian Lawson. 

This talk explores how the Canadian federal government has produced knowledge about the role played by both environment and heredity for Indigenous health. After giving an overview of the legal history of the relationship between the Canadian state and Indigenous people living in Canada, it will discuss the history of colonial institutions in Canada, including “Indian Residential Schools” and scientific studies that have been carried out with the aim of producing knowledge about what was thought to be a particular susceptibility to disease. Then, through an analysis of public health campaigns directed towards Indigenous communities, it examines how the presence of industrial contaminants in homes on reserve lands has been addressed by the state, and how these contaminants are linked to elevated rates of disease. Finally, it will discuss the legacies of this scientific work and the ways in which notions of indigenous “difference” continue to find expression in contemporary forms of racism and in state institutions such as public health, law, policing, and education.

Admission free

Contact information:  i.stelea@berlin.bard.edu

Location: Bard College Berlin Lecture Hall

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