GRAD 219: Research on Racism in Science Mini-Courses

We're excited to announce a third series of mini-courses for UCSF PhD students offered by the Graduate Division Dean’s Office and taught by UCSF Social and Population Sciences PhD students.

About the Courses

Open to first year students, these mini-courses build on the lessons of GRAD 202: Racism in Science by providing opportunities for reading and discussion around a more specific topic. Each course offering will focus on literature and scholarship at the intersection of race, racism, and social justice, with biomedical research and health. Students will be expected to evaluate assigned readings critically before class and to present and discuss themes in class. Students will also be expected to write and present an essay that includes critical analysis of topics covered.

Spring 2024 Mini-Courses

All mini-courses will be offered online.

How Health Science Research Institutions Continue to Perpetuate Racism and Health Inequalities Among Black and Latinx Populations

Instructor: Berty DC Arreguin, PhD Candidate in Sociology

Dates: Monday, May 13, 2024 - Friday, May 31, 2024
Schedule: Tuesdays and Thursdays, 1:00 p.m. PDT - 3:00 p.m. PDT
Maximum Class Size: 15

Course Description: This mini-course will focus on health sciences research institutions in the United States from a sociological aspect.  This series aims to, 1. Cross-examine the history and present-day structural racism within these institutions, 2. Uncover the root causes of health inequalities experienced by Black and Latinx populations, and 3. Understand how these populations experience and cope with a chronic illness.  Students will engage with a series of articles, group discussions, and presentations.

Colonial Legacies and Experimentation in the Health Sciences

Instructor: Bri Matusovsky, PhD Candidate in Medical Anthropology

Dates: Monday, April 1, 2024 - Friday, April 19, 2024 
Schedule: Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays, 9:00 a.m. PDT - 10:30 a.m. PDT
Maximum Class Size: 15

Course Description: This mini-course on "Colonial Legacies and Experimentation in the Health Sciences" will draw on humanities and social sciences texts to consider the ways in which historical and contemporary mobilizations of categories of race have been central to medical and scientific understandings of who is (and is not) human. We will build on prior course material (Grad 202) to consider how the biological sciences interface with categories of classification including race, disability, gender, and human.  We will think beyond anthropocentric conceptions of science to also question what it means to treat ethically not only people but also other non-human living beings including biological specimens, animals, and environments. We will discuss the historical background and contemporary significance of these categories of difference, paying special attention to ideas of consent, pain, and agency as they are understood today.

We will read texts which reference medical anthropology, de-colonial and post-colonial theory, critical race theory, political ecology, science and technology studies (STS), and Indigenous STS. In week 1, "Consent and Non-Consent: Colonization and Experimentation," we will read historical and contemporary sources about how colonial logics of extraction and ownership were foundational to contemporary logics of consent and experimentation. In week 2, "Cycles of Violence and Healing in Western Science," we will question the ways in which these logics continue to inform the ethics of the health sciences and medicine in the Western world. In week 3, "Inspiration from Post-Colonial Presents, Imagination of Anti-Colonial Futures," we will discuss contemporary critiques of Western science, and related responses and interventions.

Past Mini-Courses