Since its release on August 1, Dr. Steven Thrasher’s book, The Viral Underclass, has received “starred” reviews from Booklist, Publishers Weekly and Kirkus Reviews, as he dissects the relationship between disease and social class.
“Rigorous scholarship and intimate portraits of life and death on the margins make this a must-read,” the Booklist reviewer wrote.
When Thrasher appears at Milford Readers and Writers Festival on September 18, he will be in conversation with Edson Whitney, whose 35-year public health career as Associate Director and Senior Technical Advisor with the Johns Hopkins School of Public Health has spanned the globe. Whitney and Thrasher will be joined by Milford Mayor Sean Strub, a leader in the movement to end the criminalization of HIV.
Dr. Steven Thrasher has spent his career studying racialization, policing, and viral criminalization and found that there are inequalities in who is able to survive viruses and that the ways in which viruses spread, kill, and take their toll are much more dependent on social structures than they are on biology alone.
He is a journalist, social critic and LGBTQ scholar, who holds the inaugural Daniel H. Renberg Chair at Northwestern University’s Medill School. He frequently offers expertise on the relationship between viruses and inequality, with appearances in The New York Times, The Atlantic, PBS Newshour, Esquire, Buzzfeed News, Scientific American, and The Guardian.
From Africa to Asia, Edson Whitney’s design, development and management of national communication strategies and public health programs have covered maternal and child health, HIV/AIDS prevention and adolescent reproductive health. More recently, Whitney has developed Ebola recovery strategies, national strategies for Africa on zoonotic disease prevention and the development of COVID-19 SMS and WhatsApp messages for a UNICEF digital training curriculum for front line health workers.
Whitney is also board chair of Pike Artworks, Inc. the not-for-profit organization that sponsors the Milford Readers and Writers Festival, which he co-chairs. A Port Jervis native, he and his wife, Barbara, live in Shohola.
The ways in which viruses spread, kill, and take their toll are much more dependent on social structures than they are on biology alone.