Towards a Black Feminist Health Science Studies by Moya Bailey and Whitney Peoples

Black feminist health science studies (BFHSS) is a product of Hamer’s clarion call to attend to Black peoples’ health and wellness as an integral part of social justice labor. As such, BFHSS critically intervenes in a number of intersecting arenas of scholarship and activism, including feminist health studies, contemporary medical curriculum reform conversations, disability studies, environmental justice, and feminist technoscience studies (Bailey, 2016). We argue for a theory of BFHSS that builds on social justice science, which has as its focus the health and well-being of marginalized groups. We would like to move towards a social justice science that understands the health and well-being of people to be its central purpose. This formulation of BFHSS provides evidence of the co-constitutive nature of medical science and popular perception, underscoring the need to engage them simultaneously. Health is both a desired state of being and a social construct necessary of interrogation because race, gender, ablebodiedness, and other aspects of cultural production profoundly shape our notions of what is healthy (Metzl & Kirkland, 2010).

More here!

SWAG Diplomacy

Image of Swag Diplomacy Viewshare site

I’ve always loved building things. When I was a kid I used to have Dream Builders, which were essentially Legos for girls that were pastel pink and purple. I loved to build structures and pull them apart. As I recall, the sets steered you towards building “girly” structures like nurseries, and “playgrounds too, a building set made just for you…” Whoa! Jingles are marketing gold. Anyway, my early memories with these supposedly gender appropriate building blocks come back as I reflect on why DH gets me going. It’s in the building and making connections. I digress…

I’m happy to announce Dr. Stephanie Evans project “SWAG Diplomacy” a project built in Viewshare, a platform I taught her to use after I had the good fortune to learn about it at THATCamp CHNM. SWAG Diplomacy, as described by Dr. Evans, “maps locations of 200 African American autobiographers who wrote international travel memoirs.” You can click on a country and see all the famous African Americans who wrote about traveling there. You can click on a person and discover the places they traveled. You get a sense of the amazing places that Black folks have been and the cross pollination of cultures beyond the Diaspora.

Anyway, I’m excited that it’s up and ready to be explored. There’s nothing like working with a scholar and showing them there’s a way to get what they have in their head out into the world where others can access it. So proud to have been a part!

Tell your friends and check it out!


Media Make Change Interview!

I’ve been in the (e)news again!

This time, it was a two part interview with Tara Conley of the fabulous Media Make Change Organization. You can check out parts 1 and 2 here.

Here’s a little bit of what I had to say about the Digital Humanities:

…I think that’s why Digital Humanities is a good model. That is, it isn’t necessarily compartmentalized. You have academics with disciplinary training, you have computer programmers, you have librarians, and so on. You have people from different sectors who are all bringing their knowledge to the table on a particular issue or a particular project. This means that each person has to know what they need to know, but at the same time, you’re creating something together. It’s the collaborative spirit of Digital Humanities that is something we should really embrace and try to bring to other parts of the university.

I’m excited for the exposure and hopefully it leads to some job opportunities (hint hint readers)!


Queer, Black Geeks, Unite!

I got to do an awesome interview with long time community friend and newly minted QWOC Wire Writer Tiffany Y. Ates about my involvement with Shawty Got Skillz!

Digital humanities dissident, Moya Bailey, has sculpted a yellow brick road in cyberspace for women of color. This summer she will travel to Detroit, along with her collective, Shawty Got Skills, to conduct a three-hour workshop at the 14th annual Allied Media Conference. As the ‘founder and co-conspirator’ of Quirky Black Girls, blogger for the Crunk Feminist Collective, and graduate student, it’s amazing she even had time to squeeze us in for an interview (virtual, of course). I asked Moya to share more about her skill share, their objectives, and her cosmic digital endeavors.

Read more here!


Thoughts on THATCamp CHNM!

I had the good fortune to attend THATCamp CHNM last week and it was awesome!!!

After a day long English language nerd field trip, I arrived at THATCamp CHNM. The workshops offered were wonderful and I’m super confident about my Omeka and newly acquired Viewshare skills. I particularly enjoyed the mobile apps workshop which made something seemingly beyond my scope of learning, all the more accessible. Thanks Mike!

I met some of the #transformdh folks in person for the first time and had the opportunity to geek out about blogging pedagogy with Mark Sample and others. We started  a dichotomy for when/how to use class blogs that I hope folks will try to finish. It was inside that session that I realized what I like most about THATCamp is a call to create something in the moment and to fix a problem within our allotted hour and a half.

I really wanted that for the future of digital publishing session. There’s so much amazing work that people are creating that doesn’t “count” towards tenure and promotion in the current system. The question was posed, if we love doing the work does it matter if it doesn’t count? It seems people have different answers at different stages of their academic careers with tenured professors much more likely to take risks while grad students and junior faculty ask is this ok? The session left me wondering how a collective DH call to university administrators and departments could help shift current standards. I still wonder why some DH is visible as such and others is not.  So much of what I see in af-am and other oppressed peoples studies tries to make work accessible/accountable to communities outside the academy which more often than not includes a digital component. How can THATCamps attract a more diverse academic audience from a wide range of humanities disciplinary backgrounds?

I’m super excited about the practice of THATCamps being connected to other conferences and I wonder if that might remain a strategy for engaging new communities of scholars. I’m already dreaming up a session proposal for my next THATCamp experience 🙂

Relax, Relate, Release!

Image of the pacific coast at sunset

I take advice from my favorite 80’s/90’s TV show, A Different World. Whitley was having all these problems and her therapist told her to relax, relate, and release (2 Min mark). I’ve taken it to heart!

Relax– I’ve been running on E because it’s the end of the semester and I don’t know how/if I can pay my bills next year. I’ve gotten my reoccurring eye twitch back and tingly numbness in my arm. Stress. So in an effort to alleviate these tensions I’m going with what I know helps me relax. Good food, hugs, sunshine, and music. All day, all the time (you are welcome to contribute any and all of these)!

Relate– I’m not the only one going through it in this economy and I definitely haven’t gotten the worst of it. With the slight bit of class and educational privilege I have, I know some couches I can crash on, some free meals I can eat. I commiserate with friends about the unideal nature of things and honestly it’s comforting to remember that you are not alone.

Release– I’m letting go of my guilt. I’m letting go of feeling like I am a failure because I failed. I try to live by the four agreements so I’ve done my best. If I still fail, I know it’s not because I didn’t give it my all. And sometimes, failure happens.

I’m gonna be ok. This too shall pass. And in the mean time, I’ll remember to relax, relate, release!

White Coats, White Doctors: The Flexner Report’s Continued Impact on Medical Student Education

Inset image of a freshman medical student looking like a slave while the sophomore looks refined.


In the afternoon of March 3, I’ll be presenting a bit of my dissertation research at the Southern Association for the History of Medicine and Science Conference in the Basswood Room of the Emory Conference Center at 2:45 pm. Come through!

I’ll tell you about this picture!