Imagine Otherwise: Gwen D’Arcangelis on Inspiration for Scholar-Activists

Mar 4, 2021 | Podcast

Scholar-Activist Inspiration

For those of us in the social justice-oriented interdisciplines like gender studies, ethnic studies, and disability studies, our desire to make real people’s lives better is often the reason we became scholars to begin with.

So how can we cultivate the inspiration we need to nourish ourselves and our communities as we collectively build the worlds we want?

To help us figure this out, in episode 128 of Imagine Otherwise I interview scholar-activist Gwen D’Arcangelis, whose work focuses on the transnational feminist politics of science, environmental justice, and anti-racist praxis.

In the conversation, Gwen and I chat about actively cultivating inspiration in our daily lives and staying motivated when writing about challenging topics like war and violence.

We also discuss why an intersectional feminist perspective on the current COVID-19 pandemic is so crucial and why making sure scholarship is accountable to activist communities is a key way that Gwen imagines otherwise.

Gwen D'Arcangelis wearing a yellow scarf. Quote reads: Am I making work that can help forward social change? That’s both my mission and my commitment. Having that mission helps keep me inspired because I feel like I have a collective goal or collective vision that I’m part of.
Gwen D'Arcangelis wearing a yellow scarf. Quote reads: Being connected to movement work makes me question, at every moment, how is my work relevant to what’s happening? How is it relevant to social change?

Gwen D’Arcangelis

Gwen D’Arcangelis is an activist scholar whose work focuses on the transnational feminist politics of science and medicine, environmental justice, and anti-racist praxis, and an associate professor in gender studies at Skidmore College.

Gwen’s recent book Bio-Imperialism: Disease, Terror, and the Construction of National Fragility argues that racially gendered and Orientalist narratives during the war on terror helped rationalize American research expansion into dangerous germs and bioweapons and bolstered the US rationale for increased interference in the Global South.

Gwen’s other publications have focused on white scientific masculinity, gendered and Orientalist disease tropes, and nurse activism during the war on terror. Her work has appeared in the International Feminist Journal of Politics, the Journal of Community Engagement and Scholarship, Critical Public Health, the Biopolitical Times, and the Tang Museum’s Accelerate.

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