Monday, February 12, 2018 at 4:00pm
Social Sciences Building (SOS), 250
3502 Trousdale Parkway, Los Angeles, CA 90089
Shaun Ossei-Owusu is a historian of African-Americans, the law, public health, and social policy, whose larger research questions concern how government and civil society provide services to the poor. His dissertation, “The People’s Champ: Legal Aid from Slavery to Mass Incarceration,” traces the origins of legal-aid organizations to a time significantly earlier than previous historians, in abolitionist societies and the Freedmen’s Bureau; and follows the historical and jurisprudential development of legal aid from the mid-nineteenth century to the present. Legal aid, Ossei-Owusu argues, has not been shaped primarily by class issues, but by concerns about race, gender, and citizenship. He has won the Kathryn T. Preyer Award from the American Society of Legal History for a paper based on this first project, which he is currently revising for publication as a book. Ossei-Owusu has undertaken his second project, titled “Shattered Dreams: Race, Health, and Politics in Neoliberal Los Angeles,” a case-study of MLK Hospital as a “safety-net hospital,” which restructured the provision of health care to the poor in the period following LBJ’s “Great Society.” Ossei-Owusu has written two articles on this project, which are now forthcoming, and has secured a contract with Stanford to publish the book.