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In a moment where our collective health depends on technological innovation – including “contact tracing” through the collection and storage of cell phone data – visual, biometric, and other forms surveillance collect us as pinpoints of data. Composite Bodies takes up questions of technology, surveillance, embodiment, and power from an intersectional feminist lens. Through critical engagements with law, philosophy, art, history, bioethics, criminology, and advocacy, this series will address how the machine measurement and tracking of bodies is reconceptualizing notions of privacy while complicating the boundaries of the body as an integrated whole, reproducing and reinforcing biases based on race, class, gender, and other historically disabling taxonomies.

Composite Bodies is a partnership between the Northeastern University Humanities Center, Mahindra Humanities Center at Harvard, and Studies of Women, Gender, and Sexuality at Harvard. It is convened by Patricia Williams (University Distinguished Professor of Law and Humanities, Northeastern University) and Caroline Light (Senior Lecture on Studies of Women, Gender, and Sexuality, Harvard University).


April 21, 2021 | 5:00 p.m.

March 10, 2021 | 5:00 p.m.

Entangled Nuclear Colonialisms, Matters of Force, and the Material Force of Justice

February 3, 2021 | 5:00 p.m. |WATCH RECORDING HERE

Toxic Speech and Damaged Bodies | Composite Bodies with Lynne Tirrell

November 18, 2020 | 12:00 p.m. | WATCH RECORDING HERE

Vigilare: Visible Justice and the Active Image

September 16, 2020 | 5:00 p.m. | WATCH RECORDING HERE

Michele Goodwin in conversation with Caroline Light and Patricia Williams