On Friday, October 13th, the Department of Anthropology will honor Dr. Sam Dubal’s vision for directly addressing racism and other inequities that fuel health disparities through medical anthropology by hosting the second annual Dubal Memorial Lecture. This year’s speaker will be Dr. Natalia Valdez.
Dr. Valdez is a medical anthropologist and science and technology scholar who studies how race, gender, and power are enveloped into scientific knowledge production. She draws from Black feminism and postcolonial feminist science studies to critically examine epigenetic and postgenomic conceptions of the environment in social and biological (re)production. Dr. Valdez’s lecture is entitled Weighing the Future; Race, Science and Pregnancy Trials in the Postgenomic Era. Her book, which shares the title of her lecture, was published by the University of California Press in 2022. As the first ethnography of its kind, Weighing the Future examines the sociopolitical implications of ongoing pregnancy trials in the United States and the United Kingdom, illuminating how processes of scientific knowledge production are linked to racism, capitalism, surveillance, and environmental reproduction. This groundbreaking book makes the case that science, and how we translate it, is a reproductive project that requires feminist vigilance. Instead of fixating on a future at risk, this book brings attention to the present at stake.
Dr. Valdez’s current and ongoing research interests include systemic racism, inter/transgenerational trauma, somatic therapy, big data, metabolic illness, and predictive medicine. She is an assistant professor at Purdue University, and this year she is a Presidential Visiting Fellow at Yale University.
The lecture will be presented online from 1:30 to 2:50 PM on Friday, October 13, 2023. Please register at https://tinyurl.com/2p8f5ztw).