Lunch and Learn: The Neurocolorline:

Lunch and Learn: The Neurocolorline:

Locating Black Autism and Black

Neurodivergence in the Archives

The title of Dr. Diana Paulin's talk borrows from W.E.B.’s 1903 scholarly study in which he contends that "the problem of the twentieth century is the problem of the color line- the relation of the darker to the lighter races of men in Asia and Africa, in America and the islands of the sea" (The Souls of Black Folk). This powerful image of a racialized line that separates communities and nations still resonates in the Twenty-first century. However, the colorline is shaped by other factors, such as class and religion.

In this lunchtime talk, Dr. Paulin will talk about how the history of anti-black racism and ableism in the U.S. erases both the past and contemporary experiences of Black neurodivergence. In fact, much of the archival work is detective work, reading between the lines, searching in unlikely collections, and identifying gaps in historical, medical, and cultural narratives because of the historical devaluation of Black well-being and humanity during enslavement and beyond. In the process of locating historic and contemporary instances of Black neurodivergence, Dr. Paulin contributes to the efforts to learn from, better understand, and include the contributions, survival strategies, challenges experienced not only by Black people but also by all neurodivergent people in our neurodiverse past and present world.


This virtual event is free and open to the public. 


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