Policing, Pollution, Plague: Breath and Death in an Unequal Society


Mellon/ACLS Dissertation Innovation Fellowships




Focusing on social inequality and respiratory health, this dissertation considers the relevance of breath for Black Americans in contemporary urban spaces. The work elucidates health equity issues at the nexus of respiratory infection, air pollution, and police use of force. Reorienting scholarly attention to mortality and the lungs – a vital organ – and health outcomes related to breathing – a requirement for life – it brings conventionally separate, empirical fields together on a fundamental, human-centered theme. To this end, the project develops a framework for scholars that is universal to the human experience and serves as a model of analysis for racial inequality in a warming world.