2015 Spring Event Schedule

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Alice Campbell Alumni Center Ballroom

What Next? The Question of the Boycott

Join the Unit for Criticism & Interpretive Theory for a panel discussion and forum on the question of the ongoing academic boycott of the University of Illinois that was begun in response to the dehiring of Steven Salaita. Panel discussion featuring Ronald Bailey (African American Studies), Jodi Byrd (American Indian Studies/English), Lisa Cacho (Latina/o Studies/Asian American Studies), Behrooz Ghamari-Tabrizi (History/Sociology), Jessica Greenberg (Anthropology), Susan Koshy (English/Asian American Studies), and Anna Stenport (European Union Center/German).

For more information, please email Susan Koshy, Ted Faust, or John Moore.

Thursday, January 29
Knight Auditorium, Spulock Museum

The Black Death and Beyond: New Research at the Intersection of Science and the Humanities

A campus-wide discussion of Pandemic Disease in the Medieval World: Rethinking the Black Death (ed. Monica H. Green)~the inaugural issue of The Medieval Globe, a new journal from the Univeristy of Illinois.

Robert Hymes (Columbia) will be joined by Antoinette Burton (History), Craig Koslofsky (History/Medieval Studies), Benito J. Mariñas (Civil & Environmental Engineering), Gene E. Robinson (Institute for Genomic Biology), D. Fairchild Ruggles (Landscape Architecture/Medieval Studies), James M. Slauch (Medical Scholars Program/Microbiology), Rebecca Lee Smith (Epidemiology), Richard Trapping (Medical Microbiology).

Opening Remarks by Susan Koshy (director of The Unit for Criticism)

Moderated by Carol Symes (executive editor of The Medieval Globe)

Preceded by a talk by Robert Hymes (Columbia)
Lincoln Hall 1090

"Diagnosing Plague in 13th-Century China: Medical Practitioners, Medical Terminology, and the Problem of Identifying a New Disease"


Monday, February 23
Illini Union 407

"Racial Prescriptions: Pharmaceuticals, Difference, & the Politics of Life"

Spring 2015 Unit for Criticism Distinguished Faculty Lecture by Jonathan Xavier Inda (Laltina/Latino Studies)

Introduction by Alejandro Lugo (Anthropology & Latina/Latino Studies)

Response by Monica McDermott (Sociology)


In the contemporary United States, matters of life and health have become key political concerns. Important to this politics of life is the desire to overcome racial inequalities in health; from heart disease to diabetes, the populations most afflicted by a range of illnesses are racialized minorities. The solutions generally proposed to the problem of racial health disparities have been social and environmental in nature, but in the wake of the mapping of the human genome, genetic thinking has come to have considerable influence on how such inequalities are problematized. In this talk, Dr. Inda explores the politics of dealing with health inequities through targeting pharmaceuticals at specific racial groups based on the idea that they are genetically different. Drawing on the introduction of BiDil to treat heart failure among African Americans, he contends that although racialized pharmaceuticals are ostensibly about fostering life, they also raise thorny questions concerning the biologization of race, the reproduction of inequality, and the economic exploitation of the racial body. 

MCT Lecture Series