Pyar Seth is a PhD Candidate in the Interdisciplinary Humanistic Studies Program pursuing a joint track in Anthropology and Political Science. He is also a Robert Wood Johnson Health Policy Scholar and Graduate Research Associate to the Black Beyond Data Project. Broadly, Pyar studies Black sociopolitical life and death and how medical language, strategies, and technologies reenact and adhere race to bodies. Adjacently, Pyar also does work on the prescription and presentation of medical data, the discursive formation of diagnoses, and ontologies of medical examination.
Through an examination of institutional intervention and state violence, he also focuses on understanding the nature of stress and well-being in Black communities through capturing geographies of affect, bio-sensing, and psychophysiological response to racial violence. Black people have been expected to endure, to come to work, to provide for our families, to denounce our humanity, and hide our anguish and rage. Within a society in which Blackness is reduced to production (racial capitalism), there is a need to prioritize rest, namely because Black people never seem able to. One can begin to notice both an urgency and exhaustion in the dissemination of the phrase Black Lives Matter — a restlessness concerning persistent anti-Black dismemberment, torture, and fatality. As Fred Moten (2003) posed, what does it mean to “embody the extended movement of a specific upheaval, an ongoing irruption that can arrange every line” as one is seeking medical care? Given the pervasiveness of anti-Black violence, for Black people, what does it mean to rest?