Notes from the field: Critical Juncture at Emory

by Lindsey Grubbs
Early in April, Emory University hosted the third iteration of Critical Juncture. This annual(ish) graduate-student-led conference focuses on intersectionality, examining interconnecting dynamics of systems of oppression including racism, sexism, ableism, and classism. This year’s conference, while maintaining a broader focus on the complexities of identity and oppression, took as its theme “representations of the body”: which bodies are, and perhaps more importantly which are not, represented in science, politics, the arts, and the academy, and what forms do these representations take?
From its beginning, the conference has links to neuroethics at Emory. One of the co-founders of the conference, Jennifer Sarrett, was a past Neuroethics Scholars Program Fellow. This year, I—one-time managing editor of this blog and current intrepid neuroethics blogger—served as one of the co-organizers.

The focus at this year’s conference was on increasing opportunities for interdisciplinary engagement. The disciplinary backgrounds of our organizational team made this possible: we had one doctoral student in English and bioethics (me), one in public health (Ilana Raskind), a third in microbiology and molecular genetics (Kellie Vinal), and (now Dr.) Jennifer Sarrett stepped in as faculty mentor from the Center for the Study of Human Health. We arranged for a variety of presentation and conversation formats in the hopes of inspiring more cross-talk and examination: seminars with established thinkers at Emory, a poster reception with flash talks (and plenty of food and drink), and interdisciplinary panels arranged, when possible, with an eye to disciplinary diversity. For example, one panel brought together speakers from the medical school, English, history, and Behavioral Science & Health Education to tackle intersections of race, gender, and medicine.

The views, opinions and positions expressed by these authors and blogs are theirs and do not necessarily represent that of the Bioethics Research Library and Kennedy Institute of Ethics or Georgetown University.