Flexner Lectureship

Established in honor of Mary Flexner, a Bryn Mawr graduate of the class of 1895, the Lectureship has brought some of the world's best-known humanists to campus for a brief residency.

Social psychiatrist and Bryn Mawr alum Mindy Fullilove will hold the 2023 Lectureship. Since 1986, she has conducted research on AIDS and other epidemics of poor communities, with a special interest in the relationship between the collapse of communities and decline in health. Currently, she is a professor at The New School where she teaches urban policy and health.

Fullilove's first lecture, "The Tao of K-Drama: After Root Shock," will take place on November 2 in the Great Hall from 7:00 PM to 8:30 PM.

From Enforcers to Guardians: A Public Health Primer on Ending Police Violence

From Enforcers to Guardians: A Public Health Primer on Ending Police Violence
$37.00

Mindy Fullilove is the 2023 holder of the Flexner Lectureship.

by Mindy Fullilove BMC '71

A public health approach to understanding and eliminating excessive police violence.

Excessive police violence and its disproportionate targeting of minority communities has existed in the United States since police forces first formed in the colonial period. A personal tragedy for its victims, for the people who love them, and for their broader communities, excessive police violence is also a profound violation of human and civil rights.

Most public discourse about excessive police violence focuses, understandably, on the horrors of civilian deaths. In From Enforcers to Guardians, Hannah L. F. Cooper and Mindy Thompson Fullilove approach the issue from a radically different angle: as a public health problem. By using a public health framing, this book challenges readers to recognize that the suffering created by excessive police violence extends far outside of death to include sexual, psychological, neglectful, and nonfatal physical violence as well.

Arguing that excessive police violence has been deliberately used to marginalize working-class and minority communities, Cooper and Fullilove describe what we know about the history, distribution, and health impacts of police violence, from slave patrols in colonial times to war on drugs policing in the present-day United States. Finally, the book surveys efforts, including Barack Obama's 2015 creation of the Task Force on 21st Century Policing, to eliminate police violence, and proposes a multisystem, multilevel strategy to end marginality and police violence and to achieve guardian policing.

Aimed at anyone seeking to understand the causes and distributions of excessive police violence--and to develop interventions to end it--From Enforcers to Guardians frames excessive police violence so that it can be understood, researched, and taught about through a public health lens.

ISBN/SKU: 
9781421436449
Publication Date: 
January 14, 2020

Urban Alchemy

Urban Alchemy
$22.95

by Mindy Fullilove BMC '71 

An identification of the problems of divided neighborhoods and nine tools that can mend them What if divided neighborhoods were causing public health problems? What if a new approach to planning and design could tackle both the built environment and collective well-being at the same time? What if cities could help each other? Dr. Mindy Thompson Fullilove, the acclaimed author of Root Shock, uses her unique perspective as a public health psychiatrist to explore and identify ways of healing social and spatial fractures simultaneously. Using the work of French urbanist Michel Cantal-Dupart and the American urban design firm Rothschild Doyno Collaborative as guides as well as urban restoration projects from France and the US as exemplary cases, Fullilove identifies nine tools that can mend our broken cities and reconnect our communities to make them whole.
ISBN/SKU: 
9781613320105
Publication Date: 
June 4, 2013

Undercommons

Undercommons
$24.00

Fred Moten was the 2022 holder of the Flexner Lectureship.

by Fred Moten

In this series of essays Fred Moten and Stefano Harney draw on the theory and practice of the black radical tradition as it supports, inspires, and extends contemporary social and political thought and aesthetic critique. Today the general wealth of social life finds itself confronted by mutations in the mechanisms of control, from the proliferation of capitalist logistics through governance by credit and management of pedagogy. Working from and within the social poesis of life in the undercommons Moten and Harney develop and expand an array of concepts: study, debt, surround, planning, and the shipped. On the fugitive path of an historical and global blackness, the essays in this volume unsettle and invite the reader to the self-organised ensembles of social life that are launched every day and every night amid the general antagonism of the undercommons.
ISBN/SKU: 
9781570272677
Publication Date: 
June 30, 2013
Author: 
Publisher: 

Public Things

Public Things
$19.95

Bonnie Honig was the 2011 holder of the Flexner Lectureship.

by Bonnie Honig

In the contemporary world of neoliberalism, efficiency is treated as the vehicle of political and economic health. State bureaucracy, but not corporate bureaucracy, is seen as inefficient, and privatization is seen as a magic cure for social ills. In Public Things: Democracy in Disrepair, Bonnie Honig asks whether democracy is possible in the absence of public services, spaces, and utilities. In other words, if neoliberalism leaves to democracy merely electoral majoritarianism and procedures of deliberation while divesting democratic states of their ownership of public things, what will the impact be?

Following Tocqueville, who extolled the virtues of "pursuing in common the objects of common desires," Honig focuses not on the demos but on the objects of democratic life. Democracy, as she points out, postulates public things--infrastructure, monuments, libraries--that citizens use, care for, repair, and are gathered up by. To be "gathered up" refers to the work of D. W. Winnicott, the object relations psychoanalyst who popularized the idea of "transitional objects"--the toys, teddy bears, or favorite blankets by way of which infants come to understand themselves as unified selves with an inside and an outside in relation to others. The wager of Public Things is that the work transitional objects do for infants is analogously performed for democratic citizens by public things, which press us into object relations with others and with ourselves.

Public Things attends also to the historically racial character of public things: public lands taken from indigenous peoples, access to public goods restricted to white majorities. Drawing on Hannah Arendt, who saw how things fabricated by humans lend stability to the human world, Honig shows how Arendt and Winnicott--both theorists of livenesss--underline the material and psychological conditions necessary for object permanence and the reparative work needed for a more egalitarian democracy.

ISBN/SKU: 
9780823276417
Publication Date: 
March 1, 2017
Author: 

Notes Toward a Performative Theory of Assembly

Notes Toward a Performative Theory of Assembly
$13.98
$27.95
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Judith Butler was the 2011 holder of the Flexner Lectureship.

by Judith Butler

Judith Butler elucidates the dynamics of public assembly under prevailing economic and political conditions. Understanding assemblies as plural forms of performative action, she extends her theory of performativity to show why precarity--destruction of the conditions of livability--is a galvanizing force and theme in today's highly visible protests.
ISBN/SKU: 
9780674967755
Publication Date: 
November 17, 2015
Author: 

Courtly Encounters

Courtly Encounters
$34.50

Sanjay Subrahmanyam was the 2009 holder of the Flexner Lectureship.

by Sanjay Subrahmanyam

Cross-cultural encounters in Europe and Asia in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries brought the potential for bafflement, hostility, and admiration. The court was the crucial site where expanding Eurasian states and empires met and were forced to make sense of one another. By looking at these interactions, Courtly Encounters provides a fresh cross-cultural perspective on the worlds of early modern Islam, Counter-Reformation Catholicism, Protestantism, and a newly emergent Hindu sphere.

Both individual agents and objects such as texts and paintings helped mediate encounters between courts, which possessed rules and conventions that required decipherment and translation, whether in words or in pictures. Sanjay Subrahmanyam gives special attention to the depiction of South Asian empires in European visual representations, finding a complex history of cultural exchange: the Mughal paintings that influenced Rembrandt and other seventeenth-century Dutch painters had themselves been earlier influenced by Dutch naturalism. Courtly Encounters provides a rich array of images from Europe, the Islamic world, India, and Southeast Asia as aids for understanding the reciprocal nature of cross-cultural exchanges. It also looks closely at how insults and strategic use of martyrdom figured in courtly encounters.

As he sifts through the historical record, Subrahmanyam finds little evidence for the cultural incommensurability many ethnohistorians have insisted on. Most often, he discovers negotiated ways of understanding one another that led to mutual improvisation, borrowing, and eventually change.

ISBN/SKU: 
9780674067059
Publication Date: 
October 30, 2012

Root Shock

Root Shock
$22.95
Like a sequel to the prescient warnings of urbanist Jane Jacobs, Dr. Mindy Thompson Fullilove reveals the disturbing effects of decades of insensitive urban renewal projects on communities of color. For those whose homes and neighborhoods were bulldozed, the urban modernization projects that swept America starting in 1949 were nothing short of an assault. Vibrant city blocks?places rich in culture?were torn apart by freeways and other invasive development, devastating the lives of poor residents. Fullilove passionately describes the profound traumatic stress?the "root shock"?that results when a neighborhood is demolished. She estimates that federal and state urban renewal programs, spearheaded by business and real estate interests, destroyed 1,600 African American districts in cities across the United States. But urban renewal didn't just disrupt black communities: it ruined their economic health and social cohesion, stripping displaced residents of their sense of place as well. It also left big gashes in the centers of cities that are only now slowly being repaired. Focusing on the Hill District of Pittsburgh, the Central Ward in Newark, and the small Virginia city of Roanoke, Dr. Fullilove argues powerfully against policies of displacement. Understanding the damage caused by root shock is crucial to coping with its human toll and helping cities become whole. Mindy Thompson Fullilove, MD, is a research psychiatrist at New York State Psychiatric Institute and professor of clinical psychiatry and public health at Columbia University. She is the author of five books, including Urban Alchemy.
ISBN/SKU: 
9781613320198
Publication Date: 
November 1, 2016