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Jacqueline Jones, Chair 128 Inner Campus Dr., Stop B7000, GAR 1.104 Austin, TX 78712-1739 • 512-471-3261

Fall 2008

HIS 365G • African American Medical History - W

Unique Days Time Location Instructor


Course Description

This course examines the historical relationship between race, medicine, and health care from the era of New World slavery to the age of AIDS. In doing so, we will pay particular attention to the role of ideas of racial difference in the production of medical knowledge, the historical persistence of racial disparities in the delivery of health care, and folk and professional healing within the African American community. Topics include: the conceptualization of "blackness" as disease in colonial America; medical experimentation on African Americans from slavery to Tuskegee; folk healing in slave communities; African American innovators in medicine; African Americans and mental illness; reproductive freedom and reproductive control in the lives of African American women; black communities' responses to epidemics and public health crises.

Partially fulfills legislative requirement for American history.

Grading Policy

Class participation, including 5 responses to on-line classroom discussion (25%) Book review (20%) One-page report on conference panel (10%) Group presentation (20%) Final research paper (25%)


Sharla M. Fett, Working Cures: Healing, Health, and Power on Southern Slave Plantations (Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 2002). Robert L. Blakeley and Judith M. Harrington, Judith M. Bones in the Basement: Post-Mortem Racism in Nineteenth-Century Medical Training (Washington, D.C.: Smithsonian Institution Press, 1997). Susan L. Smith, Sick and Tired of Being Sick and Tired: Black Women's Health Activism in America, 1900-1950 (Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press, 1995) Spencie Love, One Blood: The Death and Resurrection of Charles R. Drew (Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 1996). Keith Wailoo, Dying in the City of Blues: Sickle Cell Anemia and the Politics of Race and Health (Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 2001). Dorothy Roberts, Killing the Black Body: Race, Reproduction and the Meaning of Liberty (New York: Knopf, 1998).


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