Imagine Otherwise: Siobhan Brooks on Reckoning with Violence

Dec 10, 2020 | Podcast

Reckoning with Violence

Despite the cliché, 2020 really is one for the history books. Between a global pandemic disproportionately harming communities of color, racist and ableist police shootings, and legal and personal attacks on queer and trans populations, we have a lot to reckon with as this year comes to a close.

In episode 124, host Cathy Hannabach interviews sociologist Siobhan Brooks about how these events emerge from long histories of racially gendered violence and why our reckoning must contend with these histories to build better futures. Siobhan’s research across her career demonstrates how critical reflection on structures of inequality is crucial to creating alternatives in which life can thrive.

In the conversation, Siobhan and Cathy discuss what it means to reckon with violent histories and presents without losing hope for the future, how critique and creation intertwine in social justice scholarship, what interdisciplinary research looks like in the context of COVID-19 and its aftermath, and why building a world free of violence is how Siobhan imagines otherwise.

Siobhan Brooks wearing red earrings and a grey blazer. Text reads: This book is a 2020 project in that it’s different from any other research I’ve done. One of the lessons that I take away from this moment as a researcher is to be patient, to let go of certain expectations of how you feel research should be and how it should look.
Siobhan Brooks wearing red earrings and a grey blazer. Text reads: When I teach my courses, I always think about the world I’m trying to build for my students. It’s a world where we’re free from domination and abuse of power, a world where we critique structures and can carve out different visions for ourselves

Siobhan Brooks

Siobhan Brooks is a sociologist and associate professor of African American studies at California State University, Fullerton.

Her recent book, Everyday Violence against Black and Latinx LGBT Communities (Lexington Books, 2020), uses the 2016 Pulse shooting as a launching point to examine families, healthcare, educational settings, and religious spaces as both sites of violence and spaces of transformation.

She is also the author of Unequal Desires: Race and Erotic Capital in the Stripping Industry (SUNY Press, 2010), which explores racial discrimination against Black and Latina exotic dancers and was inspired by her union organizing work at the Lusty Lady Theater.  

Siobhan’s scholarship has been published in The Black ScholarSigns: Journal of Women in Culture and Society, and Inside Higher Ed and she has been interviewed for publications such as the New York TimesPlayboy MagazineNBC News, and NPR.

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