Evelynn M. Hammonds and Jim Downs: 'Lessons Not Learned: Smallpox and African Americans in the 1860s'


Thursday, April 23, 2020, 4:00pm


Virtual Lecture
Jim DownsApril 23, 2020
Lessons Not Learned: Smallpox and African Americans in the 1860s: A Conversation with Jim Downs
Hosted by Evelynn M. Hammonds
To access Zoom link including call-in numbers, register in advance for this meeting: https://harvard.zoom.us/webinar/register/WN_p7FlEP2YTjiMhty2TEepIA
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RGSM Conversation Series

The Project on Race & Gender in Science & Medicine at the Hutchins Center for African & African American Research is pleased to sponsor a series of conversations:

Epidemics and African American Communities from 1793 to the Present  -- Hosted by Professor Evelynn M. Hammonds

Leading scholars in public health, the history of medicine, and African American Studies will join Professor Evelynn M. Hammonds in conversations about the historical and contemporary impact of epidemic diseases on African American communities in the United States.

This week's guest is Jim Downs, Professor of History and Director of the American Studies Program at Connecticut College.

Past Sessions:

Williams WebcastApril 9, 2020
Epidemics and Health Disparities in African American Communities: A Conversation with David R. Williams 
Hosted by Evelynn M. Hammonds


Rana HogarthApril 16, 2020
The Myth of Innate Racial Differences Between White and Black People’s Bodies: Lessons From the 1793 Yellow Fever Epidemic in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania: A Conversation with Rana Hogarth
Hosted by Evelynn M. Hammonds

Future sessions:

Thursday, April 30, 2020, 4pm
Vanessa Northington Gamble, University Professor of Medical Humanities, George Washington University
Author of: “’There Wasn’t a Lot of Comfort in Those Days:’ African Americans, Public Health, and the 1918 Influenza Epidemic” Public Health Reports (2010)
Thursday, May 7, 2020, 4pm
Samuel K. Roberts, Associate Professor of History and of Sociomedical Sciences, Columbia University
Author of: Infectious Fear:  Politics, Disease, and the Health Effects of Segregation (2009)

Evelynn M. HammondsEvelynn M. Hammonds is the Barbara Gutmann Rosenkrantz Professor of the History of Science, Chair of the Department of the History of Science and Professor of African and African American Studies at Harvard University.  Prof. Hammonds is the Director of the Project on Race & Gender in Science & Medicine at the Hutchins Center for African and African American Research at Harvard University.  She is the author with Susan Reverby of “ Toward a Historically Informed Analysis of Racial Health Disparities Since 1619, “ AJPH (2019).



Jim DownsJim Downs is Professor of History and Director of American Studies at Connecticut College. He is the author of Sick from Freedom: African American Illness and Suffering during the Civil War and Reconstruction (Oxford, 2012), which has been featured in The New York Times, The Guardian, The Washington Post, The Lancet, and on the BBC World Service, CNN, New York Public Radio, Record TV in Brazil, among others. He is the editor of five anthologies, most recently, Beyond Freedom: Disrupting the History of Emancipation (Georgia, 2017), which he co-edited with David Blight and Voter Suppression in U.S. Elections (Georgia, June, 2020), which is part of the History in the Headlines Series that he co-edits with Catherine Clinton.