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Everyone (Public)

What is Anger? Who Can Be Angry?

History, Health, and Humanities is a multidisciplinary reading group that explores the political, social, and humanistic dimensions of medicine through a historical lens. We meet for dinner and discussion once or twice per month and we always welcome new attendees.

Our theme for this Fall is “On Anger.” How and why have medicine and psychiatry been complicit in pathologizing anger? How is the discourse on “civility” leveraged to silence anger and protest? How can Black feminist perspectives rehabilitate anger? An oft-maligned emotion (is it an emotion?), we will explore these questions as well as perspectives on the nature and uses of Anger, particularly when expressed by historically oppressed groups.

Our first session, “What is Anger? Who Can Be Angry?,” will be Tuesday, September 27 from 6:30-7:30pm ET at the Wilson Branch of the New Haven Free Public Library at 303 Washington Avenue (about 3 blocks from the medical school). From the main entrance, take the elevator or stairs down to the lower level. The Wilson Library's policy is mask optional, but we encourage you to wear masks during the session while not eating or drinking. This event will be hybrid, so please join us via Zoom if you can’t make it in person.

In our first reading, “The Aptness of Anger,” Amia Srinivasan lays bare how the critique of anger as “counterproductive,” casts oppression as “reality” and forces the oppressed to choose between expressing their justified anger and preserving their wellbeing. She also challenges the alleged dichotomy between anger and reason and examines the political reasons why this dichotomy continues to be upheld. The second reading, “The Fruits of Anger” by Brian Wong, surveys other thinkers and activists whose lives and work intersect with Srinivasan’s arguments. Lastly, "What if white men, not black women, were caricatured as angry?" by Melissa Harris-Perry offers a brief reflection on the impact of persistent stereotyping of Black women, which also serves to obscure and naturalize the anger of people in power, especially white men.

All of the readings & Zoom link can be found on our website:


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