The History of Medical and Scientific Racism in America

TUE, FEB 26, 2019 (55:45)

Udodiri R. Okwandu is a Doctorate student at Harvard University studying the links between social and science. She works to trace the histories of unethical medical practices used in America from the 19th century to present a history of racial inequality within the medical treatment industry. Udodiri uses this history to shed light on the ways in which problematic conceptualizations of race have contributed to health disparities among black Americans.

+ BIO: Udodiri Okwandu

Udodiri Okwandu is a graduate student in the History of Science, with a secondary in African and African American Studies and a Presidential Scholar at Harvard University. She is interested in the history of medicine and public health, history of gender and sexuality, and critical race theory in the United States. She is particularly interested in the ways in which scientific and medical inquiry have been deployed by the state to manage and control marginalized populations.

Orginally from Southern California, Udodiri completed her undergraduate studies in 2017 at Harvard College where she graduated cum laude with an AB in the History of science (with a focus in Mind, Brain, and Behavior) and a minor in Global Health and Health Policy. Her senior thesis, which won the Thomas T. Hoopes Prize, an award which recognizes outstanding scholarly work or research by students selected by a committee of faculty from Harvard University’s Faculty of Arts and Sciences, examined the medicalization and racialization of Civil Rights protests in the 1960s, contextualizing it with the rise of law and order political ideology.

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