Annemarie Mol, black breastfeeding, black history, black power, care, civil rights, graduate school, medical anthropology, radical black history, sociocultural anthropology, The logic of Care, U.S. History
If you’ve ever been curious about what my presentations looks like I thought I’d share this one from recently (can you tell school is out and I have some time on my hands?!). This presentation was from just a couple of months ago, when the graduate students held a conference so we could share parts of our research with each other. I chose to present a paper I wrote from a class I took on culture and illness in the context of care and what this entails and what it means. My former adviser suggested I take this class, and to be honest with you at first I was really reluctant because I initially didn’t see how it would fit into my research interest of Black breastfeeding. But that completely changed after a few weeks. Not only was I intrigued by care, but I could see clearly (in my mind) how it had been enacted through many ways. My point with this paper and presentation was to examine and show how care has been experienced by Black people in the United States — in forced care, in gendered division of care, how we have also used care as resistance, and how Black breastfeeding fits into its context. Of course I’m not trying to say that Black people who don’t breastfeed don’t fit into this context of care, self-care, radical care, etc — of course not — but here I was looking exclusively at this particular area to start a new conversation for me in this area.
I really wanted to seal an image of a Black woman breastfeeding in the minds of my audience, which is why I put this picture I found on google at the very end on the last slide, and made it one that would be on the screen the longest — during Q&A (p.s. it’s one of the editors of the anthology ‘Free to Breastfeed: Voices of Black Mothers’). There were quite a number of questions from the audience that day — the people were all really engaging, and someone came up to me afterwards and told me about a Black woman nearby who majors in anthropology and who is a breastfeeding mama. Now, that was exciting!
I’ve put the actual notes I wrote up for this presentation under each slide so you can see each point I was making. But I never read verbatim from my notes, so they probably sound a bit different in real time — shorter in some places and longer in others, but I hope you understand my presentation but if you don’t and have a question, leave a comment. And feel free to give me feedback. And if it’s worth it maybe I’ll post the entire paper I wrote about Dying, Living and Resisting in American Society: Radical Black History, Radical Care & Why Black Breastfeeding Matters, sometime somewhere.