U.S. flag

An official website of the United States government

Official websites use .gov
A .gov website belongs to an official government organization in the United States.

Secure .gov websites use HTTPS
A lock ( ) or https:// means you’ve safely connected to the .gov website. Share sensitive information only on official, secure websites.

Jennifer Nash presents “In the Room”: Women of Color Doulas in a State of Emergency

6:30 PM - 8:30 PM Tuesday, March 3, 2020

Main Library
449 Broadway
Lecture Hall

Event image for Jennifer Nash presents “In the Room”: Women of Color Doulas in a State of Emergency

​​​​​​"In the Room” explores the work of women of color doulas laboring in Chicago in an era where doulas are increasingly hailed—by the state and by activists—as precisely the innovation that can save black mothers’ lives. Professor Nash's analysis draws on twenty-three interviews she conducted in 2018 with birth doulas—many of whom describe themselves as “bodyguards”-- working in the Chicago metropolitan area. She explores the complicated tensions around professionalization and the medicalization of birth that underpins their practice, and considers the place of their work in the ongoing effort to eradicate black infant and maternal mortality.

Jennifer C. Nash is an associate professor of African American studies and gender and sexuality studies at Northwestern University and a ACLS Frederick Burkhardt Fellow at the Radcliffe Institute at Harvard. Nash’s work centers on black feminist theory, black sexual politics, race and visual culture, and theories of intersectionality. Nash is the author of The Black Body in Ecstasy (Duke University Press, 2014) and Black Feminism Reimagined (Duke University Press, 2019). Her work has appeared in American QuarterlyFeminist ReviewFeminist StudiesFeminist TheoryGLQSigns, and Social Text. She earned her PhD in African American studies from Harvard University, her JD from Harvard Law School, and her AB in women’s studies from Harvard College.

This event is co-sponsored by the Cambridge Women's Commission and presented as part of our Women's History Month programming. .