University Calendar

A Discussion with Dr. Anne Pollock

Date: Monday, May 20, 2013
Time: 12:00 PM
- 01:00 PM

Location: Room 361, HSS building

Cost: Free


Sponsor: Health Equity Institute

Contact: Laura Mamo

Phone: (415) 405-2540

Dr. Anne Pollock will speak about her book, "Medicating Race: Heart Disease and Durable Preoccupations with Difference" at the Health Equity Institute. Dr. Pollock is an Assistant Professor of Science, Technology & Culture in the School of Literature, Media, and Communication at Georgia Tech University. In Medicating Race, Anne Pollock traces the intersecting discourses of race, pharmaceuticals, and heart disease in the United States over the past century, from the founding of cardiology through the FDA's approval of BiDil, the first drug sanctioned for use in a specific race. She examines wide-ranging aspects of the dynamic interplay of race and heart disease: articulations, among the founders of American cardiology, of heart disease as a modern, and therefore white, illness; constructions of "normal" populations in epidemiological research, including the influential Framingham Heart Study; debates about the distinctiveness African American hypertension, which turn on disparate yet intersecting arguments about genetic legacies of slavery and the comparative efficacy of generic drugs; and physician advocacy for the urgent needs of black patients on professional, scientific, and social justice grounds. Ultimately, Pollock insists that those grappling with the meaning of racialized medical technologies must consider not only the troubled history of race and biomedicine but also its fraught yet vital present. Medical treatment should be seen as a site of, rather than an alternative to, political and social contestation. The aim of scholarly analysis should not be to settle matters of race and genetics, but to hold medicine more broadly accountable to truth and justice.


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