Carnegie Mellon University

Racial Capitalism and Care in COVID

CAS Speakers Series

Patricia J. Lopez

Thursday, April 22, 2021 at 1:00pm on Zoom

COVID-19 is the fifth coronavirus to emerge in human populations in the past two decades--and is the most virulent of the community-spread HCoV’s. While COVID-19 has disrupted social life, leading to multiple crises--biomedical, economic, social, and political--it has disproportionately impacted low-income and Black, Indigenous, and People of color communities in the U.S. The double burden of the outsized impacts on the social and economic lives of BIPOC through heightened exposure, particularly in positions of care, and the intensified severity of illness and death are not accidents of the disease, but rather, they have been co-produced by the long history of structural racism and racial capitalism in the U.S.--beginning with settler colonialism and slavery, and continuing through its many transformations from Jim Crow to the contemporary undercompensated and undocumented care labor of BIPOC, particularly women. In this talk, I bring critical political ecologies of health and disease together with racial capitalism and care in order to interrogate the racialization of the disease and the ways in which racial capitalism has fostered this disproportionate burden among BIPOC.

Patricia Lopez is an assistant professor of Geography at Dartmouth College. Her work examines historical and contemporary geographies of health through the lens of race and racism with an attention to care and care ethics. 

This event is part of the Spaces of Containment and Care Project.

Zoom Registration