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Dorothy E. Roberts, path-breaking scholar of race, gender, and the law, will discuss “The New Biopolitics of Race”, on February 28, 2013

POUGHKEEPSIE, NY -- University of Pennsylvania law and sociology professor Dorothy E. Roberts will discuss her acclaimed 2012 book, Fatal Invention: HowScience, Politics, and Big Business Re-create Race in the Twenty-first Century, on Thursday, February 28, at 5:30pm in Taylor Hall room 203.  Among the praise for Fatal Invention, the New York Journal of Books named it the best book of the year and hailed, “If you read one work of nonfiction a year, make it this one.” This event is free and open to the public.

Fatal Invention argues against the biological concept of race, recently revived in genetic research and biotechnology. This idea, once used to justify segregation and prejudice, has re-emerged in race-targeted therapies developed by pharmaceutical companies, racial profiling in the construction of DNA criminal databases, and various for-profit ancestry-testing services. In exposing how this consolidation of race, science, and politics promotes inequality, Roberts offers an urgent call to affirm our common humanity by ending the biopolitical system of race.

Nature, Publishers Weekly, The Tavis Smiley Show, and AFRO.com are among the many other outlets that have praised Fatal Invention.

Roberts’ work in law and public policy focuses on urgent contemporary issues in health, social justice, and bioethics, especially as they impact the lives of women, children, and African-Americans. In addition to Fatal Invention, Roberts is the author of the award-winning books Killing the Black Body: Race, Reproduction, and the Meaning of Liberty (1997) and Shattered Bonds: The Color of Child Welfare (2002), and she has served as co-editor for nine books on gender and constitutional law, as well as publishing nearly one hundred articles and essays in books and scholarly journals.

Dorothy E. Roberts is the fourteenth Penn Integrates Knowledge professor at the University of Pennsylvania, with a joint appointment in the Department of Sociology and the Law School.  She is the George A. Weiss University Professor of Law & Sociology, the Raymond Pace & Sadie Tanner Mossell Alexander Professor of Civil Rights, and professor of Africana Studies. She received her B.A. from Yale and her J.D. from Harvard Law School.

The programs in Science, Technology, and Society, Women’s Studies, and Africana Studies, and the departments of Earth Science & Geography and Biology are co-sponsors of this event.

Vassar College strives to make its events, performances, and facilities accessible to all.

Individuals with disabilities requiring special accommodations must contact the Office of Campus Activities at least 48 hours in advance of an event, Mondays-Fridays, at (845) 437-5370. Without sufficient notice, appropriate space/and or assistance may not be available. For detailed information about accessibility to specific campus facilities, search for “campus accessibility information” on the Vassar homepage (http://www.vassar.edu).

Vassar College is located at 124 Raymond Avenue in Poughkeepsie, NY, and directions to the campus can be found at http://www.vassar.edu/directions

Vassar College is a highly selective, coeducational, independent, residential, liberal arts college founded in 1861.

Posted by Office of Communications Thursday, February 21, 2013