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On Feb. 22, Wagner College hosted its fifth annual Black History Month Scholar’s Symposium. Our 2017 guest scholar was Michael Ralph, an associate professor in New York University’s Department of Social and Cultural Analysis. His dual fields of scholarship are gender and sexuality, and African studies. Ralph is the author of Forensics of Capital: Risks and Liabilities, Citizenship and Sovereignty in Senegal (U. Chicago Press, 2015), as well as numerous articles and book chapters exploring citizenship, sovereignty, risk, liability, urban youth culture, diaspora, and postcolonialism. He earned a bachelor’s degree in Africana studies from Morris Brown College, and his master’s and doctorate in anthropology from the University of Chicago. Ralph’s talk at Wagner College, “The Value of Human Life,” focused on the ways in which insurance companies assign differential values to human lives, and how that practice affects the value we ascribe to the lives of descendants of African slaves.

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