Why History Matters in American Medicine: Race, Slavery, and Health Disparities
The Fr. Henry W. Casper SJ Professor of History Presents
“Why History Matters in American Medicine: Race, Slavery, and Health Disparities”
Dr. Deirdre Cooper Owens
The Charles & Linda Wilson Professor in the History of Medicine
Director of the Humanities in Medicine Program
University of Nebraska-Lincoln
In her talk, historian Deirdre Cooper Owens reveals the United States' genealogical origins regarding not only modern gynecology but also the history of reproductive medicine. She explains how the institution of slavery was directly linked to the creation of reproductive medicine in the U.S . Dr. Cooper Owens provides context for how and why physicians denied black women their full humanity yet valued them as “medical superbodies ” highly suited for experimentation. Engaging with 19th century ideas about so called racial difference, Dr. Cooper Owens sheds light on the contemporary legacy of medical racism.