The graduate students of Yale University’s Program in History of Science and Medicine are hosting a conference entitled “Critical Histories and Activist Futures: Science, Medicine, and Racial Violence” on February 24th and 25th at Yale University. This conference will focus on issues of science and racial violence as objects of historical study, as well as consider lingering inequalities and injustices within history as a discipline. We further hope to share strategies for deploying academic scholarship as activism and explore tactics for building alliances with communities of activists outside the academy.
In conjunction with the conference, we are co-sponsoring a panel with the Program for the Humanities in Medicine at the Yale School of Medicine. The panel will feature Craig Wilder, the Barton L. Weller Professor of History at MIT, and a number of Yale faculty and community members. The panel will address Yale’s historical links to slavery, the significance of naming the college “Calhoun” in the 1930s, the impact of racialized trauma on mental health, and the longer history of protest against names associated with slavery, such as “Calhoun,” at American universities.