How do we remake, not simply rebuild, our lives after trauma? Rebuilding suggests a return to a prior state, where the same plans, assumptions, and visions remain in place. Remaking is much more dramatic; it is transformative and generates fundamentally new ways of navigating the world. We often think of significant life transformations as highly individualistic and personal experiences. But drawing upon findings highlighted in her book, Remaking A Life: How Women Living with HIV/AIDS Confront Inequality, Watkins-Hayes analyzes the sociological dimensions of transformative life change and the process of healing from personal and collective injuries of inequality.
Dr. Celeste Watkins-Hayes is a University Diversity and Social Transformation Professor, the Jean Fairfax Collegiate Professor of Public Policy, and Professor of Sociology at the University of Michigan – Ann Arbor. She is also the Founding Director of the Center for Racial Justice at U of M’s Ford School of Public Policy and currently serves as the Ford School’s Associate Dean for Academic Affairs. Watkins-Hayes is a nationally-recognized scholar and expert on health inequities, HIV/AIDS; social policy; societal safety nets; and race, class, and gender. Her latest book, Remaking a Life: How Women Living with HIV/AIDS Confront Inequality (University of California Press, 2019), has won seven awards, including the American Sociological Association Distinguished Book Award. Watkins-Hayes holds a Ph.D. and M.A. in Sociology from Harvard University and a B.A. from Spelman College.