Past Events

May 4-5, 2018
Conference: Health, Medicine, & Civil Unrest

Our second conference followed the theme set out by our graduate students and profiled the blending of medicine, politics, and activism. Organized by History of Medicine faculty member Graham Mooney, Health, Medicine, & Civil Unrest brought together scholars and activists from around the country.

Mission: Civil unrest raises important issues for public health and medicine. Emergency medical services, health care facilities, and health departments play a role in responding to outbreaks in the short and long term. Yet historical trauma, persistent health inequalities and unequal access to medical care contribute to the root causes of unrest. From multiple disciplinary and global perspectives, this conference explores the impact of civil unrest on health outcomes and the moral responsibility to work toward solutions for eliminating structural violence, preventing civil unrest, and achieving a more just society.

Program: pdf

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April 24, 2018
Speaker Series: Dr. Marcia Chatelain

Tuesday, April 24th, 1pm
Mergenthaler 431, Homewood Campus


Dr. Marcia Chatelain presented “Drive Thru Civil Rights: Obesity, Capitalism, and the Question of Progress” as part of our first speaker series entitled Engaged Scholarship, Learning Through Health Activism.

Dr. Chatelain is currently a Provost’s Distinguished Associate Professor of History and African American Studies at Georgetown University in Washington, D.C. and was  previously an Assistant Professor of Honors at the University of Oklahoma in Norman.  They hold a PhD from Brown University in American Civilization.

Dr. Chatelain is a Harry S. Truman scholar, Ford Foundation Diversity Fellow, German Marshall Fund of the U.S. American Fellow, Sue Shear Institute for Women in Public Life Amethyst Award recipient, French American Foundation Young Leader,  and a recipient of Georgetown University’s  Dorothy M. Brown Teaching Award, the Edward Bunn, S.J. Award for Faculty Excellence, and the College Academic Council’s Faculty Award. In 2016, the Chronicle of Higher Education named them a Top Influencer in Higher Education.

They are a historian of black girls and girlhood during the Great Migration.  Their first book South Side Girls: Growing up in the Great Migration was published by Duke University Press in 2015.  Dr. Chatelain is currently writing a book about race and fast food, From Sit-In to Drive-Thru: Black America in the Age of Fast Food (under contract, Liveright, an imprint of W.W. Norton).

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April 10, 2018
Speaker Series: Rosanna Dent, PhD

Tuesday, April 10th, 1pm
West Reading Room, Welch Library Building, East Baltimore Campus


Dr. Rosanna Dent presented “Bureaucratic Vulnerability: The Afterlives of a Biomedical Object and Community Engagement in Indigenous Brazil” as part of our first speaker series entitled Engaged Scholarship, Learning Through Health Activism.

Dr. Dent holds a Ph.D. in the history and sociology of science with a focus on modern Latin America from the University of Pennsylvania. She is currently writing a book about the history of twentieth-century scientific research on an Indigenous group in Brazil. In 2017, Dr. Dent was named a Mellon Foundation Postdoctoral Fellow; she will spend the year conducting research at McGill University in Montreal before joining the faculty of the Department of History at the New Jersey Institute of Technology in the Fall of 2018.

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March 12, 2018
Speaker Series: Samuel K. Roberts, PhD

Monday, March 12th, 4pm
West Reading Room, Welch Library Building, East Baltimore Campus

Sam Roberts, history of medicine at Columbia U.Dr. Samuel Kelton Roberts, Jr. presented “Drugs, Politics, & Pariahs: Or, How to Think About Race & Harm Reduction in an Opioid Epidemic” for the XXVIth Noguchi Lecture in the History of Medicine. The lecture was sponsored by the Department of the History of Medicine, the Center for Medical Humanities & Social Medicine, the Program in Racism, Immigration, & Citizenship, and the Department of Health Policy & Management.

Dr. Roberts is the former Director of Columbia University’s Institute for Research in African American Studies (IRAAS), and is Associate Professor of History (School of Arts & Sciences) and Associate Professor of Sociomedical Sciences (Mailman School of Public Health). He writes, teaches, and lectures widely on African-American history, medical and public health history, urban history, issues of policing and criminal justice, and the history of social movements.

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February 13, 2018
Speaker Series: Anne M. Lovell, PhD

Tuesday, February 13th, 1pm
Mergenthaler 431, Homewood Campus

LovellDr. Anne M. Lovell presented “Specific Intellectuals, Partial Publics and Other Advocates: an Anthropological Peregrination across Public Psychiatry, Pharmaceuticals and Global Mental Health” as part of our first speaker series entitled Engaged Scholarship, Learning Through Health Activism.

Dr. Lovell is INSERM Senior Research Scientist Emeritus at the Cermes3 (Research Center on Medicine, Sciences, Health, Mental Health and Society), a member of the Doctoral School at the Ecole des Hautes Etudes en Sciences Sociales (EHESS), Director of Global Mental Health, and currently a Visiting Research Scientist at the Center for the History and Ethics of Public Health of Columbia University.

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Spring 2018
Speaker Series

Center Poster 2

October 27-28, 2017
Conference: Media Medica: Medicine & the Challenge of New Media

Our inaugural conference was emblematic of all the reasons the Center was created. It spanned two campuses, united scholars from across the globe, and brought in over 100 registrants to enjoy scholarship that spans several hundred years of research.

Mission: Medicine never takes places in a vacuum. Patients become ill in the context of work and family, physicians make diagnostic and therapeutic choices based on their professional training and institutional affiliations, researchers pose questions based on funding opportunities and the interests of their peers. Over the past half century, scholarship in medical history, anthropology, sociology, and the broader medical humanities has laid out the importance of these social contexts in finer and finer detail. Yet the spaces between patient, doctor, and scientist are not merely social: they are also mediated by textual and visual forms, which are expressed in a variety of media by paper and increasingly electronic technologies that make possible both intimate and global circulation of medical knowledge and practice.  Join an international group of scholars in humanities and social sciences as well as physicians and medical educators to explore the changing roles of new media in medicine.

Relive our inaugural conference through

A selection of event photos: