“Gender, Race, and Germs in the U.S. National Security Imaginary: Constructing Threat, Making Empire”
A Talk by Gwen Shuni D’Archangelis, PhD
Wednesday, April 28, 2021
5 pm-6:30 pm
Zoom Link: https://csun.zoom.us/j/84917212396?pwd=dndxUXQxemtHSUhOZTAya2Vyc1JRdz09
Meeting ID: 849 1721 2396
In the public imagination today, germs are primarily thought of as organisms that need to be controlled and eliminated. But germs have also been weaponized, with powerful nations like the United States justifying their disproportionate military power by pointing to imminent threat from international enemies from China, Iraq, and Russia to Iran and Yemen. Imperial germ politics have enabled the West to garner support for military actions from foreign invasions to domestic surveillance, and weapons buildup from drones to advanced missiles. In this talk, feminist science studies scholar, Gwen Shuni D’Archangelis, PhD, discusses parts of her newly released book, Bio-Imperialism: Disease, Terror, and the Construction of National Fragility (University of Washington, 2020), which examines the gendered, raced, and imperial features of U.S. focus on bioterror and germ threats. Her talk will focus on how U.S. government and media discourses of bioterrorism that yoked together gender, scientific progress, and orientalism media justified the stockpiling of bioweapons during the US war on terror and continues to provide cover for the continued expansion of the bioweapon defense in the current Covid-19 crisis. She will explore the work of racialized gender in the construction the bioterrorist embodied by Iraqi female in the post-911 smallpox and anthrax specters and Chinese scientists in current debates about the source of covid-19. She will also explore feminist resistance to bio-empire in the healthcare industry.
Gwen Shuni D’Archangelis is associate professor in Gender Studies at Skidmore College. Her work centers on the socio-political dimensions of science, medicine, and public health. She has written on topics such as the construction of white scientific masculinity in U.S. national security discourse, gendered Orientalism in the U.S. news media during the 2003 SARS disease scare, and the extraordinary nurse activism against the war on terror.
This event is sponsored by the Department of Gender and Women Studies and the Women’s Research and Resource Center