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About the talk:
Grell-Brisk demonstrates how the structured and engaged practice of regarding people, particularly Black people, as easily accessible, available for exploitation, and easily discardable when no longer useful, subtends our understanding of COVID19 on the African continent. The lens of disposability regimes and coloniality, help expose the deep structural inequality and racism that buoys the modern world-system, particularly the way in which the advanced economies initially addressed COVID19 concerns in Africa, their scramble for a vaccine and vaccine testing, and their quasi disregard of the continent as it emerged as one of the few regions in the world with COVID19 under control. The socio-historical and cultural contexts of epidemics and pandemics in Africa guide my analysis of how, despite its expertise in managing these crises, the very idea that Africa could survive a pandemic, let alone provide any guidance to the rest of the world, was beyond consideration. Black bodies, Black ways of knowing are viewed as disposable.

About the speaker:
Marilyn Grell-Brisk holds a Ph.D. in sociology and specializes in global structural inequality, hierarchy, power, and the connections between exploitative economic systems and climate change, air pollution exposure disparities, racism and othering. Grell-Brisk engages in Black study and is particularly interested in global-local social movements that affirm Black(ness) and Black futurity.


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