Current Graduate Students

U.S. Before 1865, Racial Science, History of Medicine, Atlantic World, History of the Profession, History of Science, History of the Body, Anatomy, Slavery, Eugenics, Long Nineteenth Century

Ph.D. Dissertation
Tentative Title: “Treating the Black Body: Race and Medicine in American Culture, 1800-1861” (advisor: Randy J. Sparks)

Abstract: Based in the writing of antebellum medical students, their senior theses in particular, this project analyzes the growing presence of racial science in medical education. It argues that the paradigm shift in early-nineteenth-century medical thought influenced by French anatomical pathology fertilized the ground for a multi-species biology of humanity. Moreover, racial science influenced medical education on a national scale and was not simply the scientific byproduct of southern racism. This thesis also situates racial science as existing in both the realm of politics and in the context of legitimate mid-nineteenth-century science. In making this argument, this dissertation focuses on three medical schools as test cases: the University of Pennsylvania, Transylvania University, and the Medical University of the State of South Carolina. Statistical and qualitative analysis of medical student theses at these universities will provide both general and particular images of how black bodies became anatomical bodies.

Grants and Fellowships
Dissertation Improvement Grant. Program in Science, Technology, and Society. National Science Foundation. 2014-2015.
Research Fellowship. Philadelphia Area Center for the History of Science. Philadelphia, Pa. 2014-2015. One Month Appointment.
Dissertation Writing Fellowship. Murphy Institute Center for Ethics and Public Affairs. Tulane University. New Orleans, La. 2014-2015 Academic Year.
Mellon Research Fellowship, Virginia Historical Society, Richmond, VA, 2013.
Dean’s Summer Merit Fellowship, School of Liberal Arts, Tulane University, New Orleans, LA, 2013.
Graduate School Fellowship, Tulane University, 2010-2014.
Lurcy Fund Travel Grant, Tulane University History Department, Winter 2011/2012.
Lurcy Fund Travel Grant, Tulane University History Department, Summer 2011.

“Race, Science, and Biblical Creation in Antebellum Alabama.” Alabama Heritage, 107 (Winter 2013): 56-58.

"Naturally Degraded: How Racialism Impacted Politics in the Late Antebellum South," The Journal of the South Carolina Medical Association, 106:4 (July 2010): 169-176.

2009 W. Curtis Worthington Prize for essays on the history of health science, Waring Library at the Medical University of South Carolina

Conference Presentations
“Running Away from Drapetomania: Re-thinking Samuel Cartwright and Racial Medicine in the Antebellum South.” American Historical Association Conference, Washington D.C., January 2014.

"Infecting the Enslaved Body: Race and Medicine in the Antebellum Gulf South.” Southern Historical Association Conference, Mobile, AL, November 2012.

"Rethinking 'States-Right Medicine': Race and Medical Culture in the Antebellum South." Southern Association for the History of Medicine and Science Conference, Emory University, Atlanta, GA, March 2012.

"In Self-Defense: The Aftermath of the Creole Affair in the Atlantic World." Graduate Student History Conference, Louisiana State University, Baton Rouge, LA, March 2013.

"The Limits of Civil Rights: Homophobia in the Black Freedom Struggle," presented at the 3rd Annual Graduate Student Conference on Power and Struggle, University of Alabama, Tuscaloosa, AL, March 2011

Ph.D. in History, Tulane University, expected graduation Spring 2016
M.A. in History, Tulane University, 2012
B.A., in History and English, College of Charleston, Charleston, SC 2009


Arthur Sprogis  
After spending half a year in São Paulo, Brazil teaching English, learning Portuguese, and attempting Samba, Arthur returned to New York and did some non-for-profit work. He is now a publications manager at the College Board.

Caryn Cosse Bell  
I am Professor of History at University of Massachusetts Lowell and author of the award-winning Revolution, Romanticism, and the Afro-Creole Protest Tradition in Louisiana, 1718-1868 (Louisiana State University Press, 1997). My dedication to writing and teaching history drew me to a career as n historian. Dividing my time between teaching and research is the most challenging aspect of my work. A successful class and a well-received publication are the most rewarding.

More Alumni Notes...

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