Fellow’s Talk: Laura Mauldin on Our Anti-Body Politic

A poster advertising Laura Mauldin's fellow's talk. A photograph of a tray of pill bottles, papers and post-it notes, along with a printed card that says "Everything will be okay" serves as the background of the poster. The text reads: 2021–22 UCHI Fellow's Talk. "Surfacing (and Countering) Our Anti-Body Politic." Associate Professor, WGSS & HDFS Laura Mauldin, with a response by Sherie Randolph. February 2, 2022, 4:00pm. Live. Online. Registration required.

Surfacing (and Countering) Our Anti-Body Politic

Laura Mauldin (Associate Professor, Women’s Gender & Sexuality Studies & Human Development and Family Sciences, UConn)

with a response by Sherie Randolph (History, Georgia Institute of Technology)

Wednesday, February 2, 2022, 4:00pm.

Live • Online • Registration required

In this talk, I outline what I see as our society’s “anti-body politic.” An anti-body politic means that we all inhabit unreliable bodies, but we don’t want to talk about it or attend to that fact. We shy away from doing so because we live in a culture that worships at the altar of autonomy and independence, where needing care symbolizes everything we don’t want to be. Accordingly, our care infrastructure, an expression of our collective anti-body politic, is woefully insufficient. This means millions of disabled people and caregivers across the United States are left to try to survive without social safety nets, despite rising rates of disability and chronic illness and more complex care needs. After describing these ideas in more detail, I experiment with how we might begin to counter our anti-body politic.

Laura Mauldin is associate professor of Women’s Gender and Sexuality Studies and Human Development and Family Sciences at the University of Connecticut. She is currently writing a book about caregiving in the US that tells the intimate stories of spousal caregivers and their disabled partners’ lives to reveal how ableism shapes the US care crisis, but also how people create and build accessible worlds to survive. You can follow her on Twitter @mauldin_laura.

Sherie M. Randolph is an associate professor of history at the Georgia Institute of Technology and the founder of the Black Feminist Think Tank. Randolph’s first book Florynce “Flo” Kennedy: The Life of a Black Feminist Radical (University of North Carolina Press) examines the connections between the Black Power, civil rights, New Left, and feminist movements. Randolph is currently writing her second book, “Bad” Black Mothers: A History of Transgression. This project explores Black mothers who fashioned lives driven by a commitment to artistic, political, and intellectual work—but mothering their children was not a priority. A history of Black women who rejected culturally acceptable modes of parenting reveals both the constraints of Black mothering and the radical transgressions some Black mothers chose in hopes of creating purposeful lives.

Access note

This event will be presented with automated captioning, ASL interpretation, and computer-assisted real time transcription. If you require accommodation to attend this event, please contact us at uchi@uconn.edu or by phone (860) 486-9057. We can request other accommodations offered by the Center for Students with Disabilities.