Read Chapter 1 here and get hooked.
Reproducing Race, an ethnography of pregnancy and birth at a large New York City public hospital, explores the role of race in the medical setting. Khiara M. Bridges investigates how race—commonly seen as biological in the medical world—is socially constructed among women dependent on the public healthcare system for prenatal care and childbirth. Bridges argues that race carries powerful material consequences for these women even when it is not explicitly named, showing how they are marginalized by the practices and assumptions of the clinic staff. Deftly weaving ethnographic evidence into broader discussions of Medicaid and racial disparities in infant and maternal mortality, Bridges shines new light on the politics of healthcare for the poor, demonstrating how the “medicalization” of social problems reproduces racial stereotypes and governs the bodies of poor women of color.
Khiara M. Bridges is Associate Professor of Law and Associate Professor of Anthropology at Boston University. Her bio is as interesting as the book:
Interests: critical race theory; criminal law
Khiara M. Bridges joins the BU faculty from the Center for Reproductive Rights, where she enjoyed an academic fellowship that was co-hosted and co-sponsored by Columbia Law School. She has written many articles on race and women’s experiences of reproduction, and she is the author of Reproducing Race: An Ethnography of Pregnancy as a Site of Racialization, to be published by the University of California Press. Her scholarship has appeared in the Columbia Law Review, the California Law Review, and the Texas Journal of Women & Law, among others.
She graduated as valedictorian from Spelman College, from where she received her degree in three years. She received her J.D. 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. While in college, she was a counselor at the Feminist Women’s Health Center in Atlanta, gaining experience with policies affecting the availability of abortion services in Georgia. She has also been a reporter for the Miami Herald, speaks fluent Spanish and basic Arabic, and is a classically trained ballet dancer who continues to perform professionally in New York City. Professor Bridges teaches Critical Race Theory and Criminal Law at BU Law.