Decolonizing Global Health Seminar Series
Please join the Science, Technology and International Affairs Program (STIA) and the Center for Global Health Science and Security (GHSS) for a new seminar series on Decolonizing Global Health. This series is offered in conjunction with a new 1-credit course in the STIA program, STIA 408, led by Professors Claire Standley and Emily Mendenhall. The talks take place on select Thursdays at 2pm and are open to the Georgetown community.
The concept of “decolonialization” of academic curricula and research partnerships has gained momentum in recent years, stemming from frustrations at the implicit and explicit ways in which Western cultural, political, and educational hegemony pervade virtually all disciplines. In global health, false narratives of objectivity, universality, and apolitical interests cloud the realities of historical roots in European and North American colonial endeavors.
Want to learn more? Georgetown students can RSVP here to join the Zoom room for individual lectures – please see the links below. Those students who succesfully RSVP for the event will receive a google calendar invite with the Zoom meeting link.
Not a Georgetown student? You can watch the sessions streamed live over YouTube at http://www.youtube.com/c/DecolonizingGlobalHealth and submit questions in the comments!
**Please note that registration for any of the individual seminars indicates your consent to have your video and audio live streamed to the “Decolonizing Global Health” YouTube channel, as well as recorded for later public posting.
August 26 – Global Health Research Needs a Makeover
Professor Madhukar Pai, Canada Research Chair in Epidemiology & Global Health, McGill University & Director, McGill International TB Centre
September 7* – The Colonial Legacy: Re-thinking Health Equity in the Global South
Dr. Maria Amelia Viteri (University of Maryland, USA & Universidad San Francisco de Quito, Ecuador)
*Note that this session occurs on a Monday
September 17 – Global health, Development, and Colonialism
September 24 – Indigenous knowledge in public health
Dr. Eli Nelson (Williams College, USA)
Assistant Professor, American Studies and Science and Technology Studies Programs
Medicine has an especially capacious definition in Indigenous contexts, touching on topics and relationships in the realms of religion, governance, diplomacy, environmental sciences, and more. Indigenous doctors and public health authorities have long argued that decolonizing or reforming public health requires a holistic approach that can be incommensurable with settler and other colonial modes of risk assessment, care, and future planning. In this lecture, I will provide a broad historical and contemporary view of Indigenous medicine and public health on Turtle Island, focusing on the roles it has played in Indigenous assertions of sovereignty, land, spirit, and futurity. We will start with a review of how Indigenous medicine and knowledge was deployed in epidemics in the 17th century, followed by reservation medicine during the Red Progressive era, Indigenous feminist public health movements in the 20th century, and concluding with a note on how Native science and medicine produces community care and protection amidst climate change and Covid-19 crises.
October 1 – Health equity and reform (12:00 – 2:00 pm)
Dr. Devaki Nambiar (The George Institute for Global Health, India)
Program Head, Health Systems and Equity
Taking its cue from Prof Pai’s magisterial tour of the contradictions of ‘the decolonization of global health,’ as well as Kothari and Cooke’s seminal work (Participation; the New Tyranny?, 2001), this lecture presents reflections on being (labeled as) someone who lives and works ‘locally,’ in a Low and Middle Income country. I present four tyrannies – of language, concepts, partnership, and representation – to reflect on how global contradictions are reified at local levels in the global South, creating ever more vexatious hypocrisies. I end with some thoughts on how we may reconcile or live with the hypocrisies inherent in public health research and practice today.
October 8 – Increasing research equity and autonomy
Dr. Ngozi Erondu (Chatham House, UK & Project Zambezi, Zimbabwe)
October 15 – Effecting change in academia / Colonial legacies in mental health
Dr. Anouska Bhattacharyya (YW Boston, USA)
Week of October 19: Capstone Panel (Date/Time TBD)