Health Law Workshop: Khiara Bridges
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Note from the Presenter:
I am circulating the introductory chapter from my first ethnography, Reproducing Race: An Ethnography of Pregnancy as a Site of Racialization, and a book proposal for my as yet untitled second ethnography.
My first book grew out of eighteen months of ethnographic fieldwork research that I conducted in the obstetrics clinic of a public hospital in New York City. I found myself in the clinic because I was interested in studying race as a process: I wanted to explore how ideas about race are made material on the bodies of poor women during the event of pregnancy. Moreover, I was curious about the role of the law in this process of race-making.
What I did not realize back when I was writing Reproducing Race was that the book would be a prelude to my second ethnography—a book about which I am now beginning to think. This ethnography will extend the analysis began in Reproducing Race to affluent women of color. Reproducing Race revealed that poor, pregnant women of color are treated in ways that are significantly different from the ways in which wealthier pregnant women are treated. But, how much of that different treatment is an effect of race? How much of it is an effect of class? By training its focus on women of color with class privilege, my second ethnography will try to figure it all out. Thus, the central preoccupation that motivates the study is the complex relationship between race and class. How does class privilege alter the experience of race? How does one’s status as a racial minority alter the experience of class privilege?
The second ethnography is very much in its earlier stages. So, any and all feedback on this project is welcome.
About the Presenter
Khiara Bridges is Professor of Law and Professor of Anthropology at Boston University. She has written many articles concerning, race, class, reproductive rights, and the intersection of the three. Her scholarship has appeared or will soon appear in the Stanford Law Review, the Columbia Law Review, the California Law Review, the Emory Law Journal, the Boston University Law Review, the Fordham Law Review, the Washington Law Review, and the Harvard Journal of Law and Gender, among others. She is also the author of Reproducing Race: An Ethnography of Pregnancy as a Site of Racialization (2011), published by the University of California Press. Her second book, The Poverty of Privacy Rights, published by Stanford University Press, will be released in 2017. She also sits on the Academic Advisory Council of Law Students for Reproductive Justice, and she is a co-editor of a reproductive justice book series that is published under the imprint of the University of California Press.
She graduated as valedictorian from Spelman College, receiving her degree in three years. She received her JD from Columbia Law School and her Ph.D., with distinction, from Columbia University’s Department of Anthropology. While in law school, she was a teaching assistant for the former dean, David Leebron (Torts), as well as for the late E. Allan Farnsworth (Contracts). She was a member of the Columbia Law Review and a Kent Scholar. She speaks fluent Spanish and basic Arabic, and she is a classically trained ballet dancer who continues to perform professionally in New York City.