Postmortem Segregation: Making Race in the Afterlife
How does the racial stratification that shapes our lives persist in death? What does it mean to live and die Black in a city that often prioritizes construction and urban renewal over the preservation of resting places that were once held sacred? Join scholar Dr. Aja Lans at the Brooklyn Heights Library as she explores the literal afterlife of racial hierarchy in Brooklyn. In this talk, Lans will give particular attention to the way Black bodies have been treated in death in New York City. She will argue that Black bodies are valued only as vessels of work and exploitation, and that even in death they are denied rest.
Dr. Aja Lans is a postdoctoral researcher at Harvard University as part of the Inequality in America Initiative. She completed her PhD in anthropology and cultural heritage preservation at Syracuse University. Her research integrates Black feminist and critical race theory into bioarcheological investigations, and she is currently investigating the remains of Black people curated in Harvard’s Peabody Museum.
Attendees are eligible for 1.5 CTLE credits.