Ethics and/in the History of Medicine and the Human Sciences

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Consortium Respectful Behavior Policy

Participants at Consortium activities will treat each other with respect and consideration to create a collegial, inclusive, and professional environment that is free from any form of discrimination, harassment, or retaliation.

Participants will avoid any inappropriate actions or statements based on individual characteristics such as age, race, religion, ethnicity, sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expression, marital status, nationality, political affiliation, ability status, educational background, or any other characteristic protected by law. Disruptive or harassing behavior of any kind will not be tolerated. Harassment includes but is not limited to inappropriate or intimidating behavior and language, unwelcome jokes or comments, unwanted touching or attention, offensive images, photography without permission, and stalking.

Participants may send reports or concerns about violations of this policy to

Upcoming Meetings

There are no currently scheduled upcoming events.

Past Meetings

  • April 14, 2022

    In this meeting, we will be discussing historical therapeutics, with the following readings: 
    Kerwin Lee Klein, “On the Emergence of Memory in Historical Discourse,” Representations 69 (2000): 127-150.
    Susan M. Reverby, "Ethical Failures and History Lessons: The U.S. Public Health Service Research Studies in Tuskegee and Guatemala," Public Health Reviews 34, no. 1 (2012): 1-18.

  • March 10, 2022

    We will be discussing citational ethics and continuing our discussion of a potential book project. The readings for the meeting are: 

    • Carrie Mott and Daniel Cockayne, "Citation Matters: Mobilizing the Politics of Citation toward a Practice of 'Conscientious Engagement,'" Gender, Place & Culture 24, no. 7 (2017): 954-973. 
    • Nicole Seymour, "Citation in the #MeToo Era," Edge Effects, Sept. 11, 2018,

    The Mott & Cockayne reading is attached; the Seymour essay can be found at the link.
    We also recommend the following additional readings: 


  • February 10, 2022

    We will be discussing Indigenous and decolonial methodologies in this week's meeting, with selections from Linda Tuhiwai Smith's (ed.) Decolonizing Methodologies. Additionally, we will spend some time discussing the proposed structure for the volume we intend to come out of this working group. 

  • January 13, 2022

    Planning meeting for the spring semester and the proposed fall conference. No readings!

  • December 9, 2021

    We'll be discussing ethics and pedagogy, with the following readings: 
    Susan A. Crane, "Choosing Not to Look: Representation, Repatriation, and Holocaust Atrocity Photography," History and Theory 47 (2008): 309-330.
    Maia G. Sheppard, "Creating a Caring Classroom in which to Teach Difficult Histories," The History Teacher 43, no. 3 (2010): 411-426.
    Michalinos Zembylas, " 'Pedagogy of Discomfort' and Its Ethical Implications: The Tensions of Ethical Violence in Social Justice Education," Ethics and Education 10, no. 2 (2015): 163-174. 

  • November 11, 2021

    We'll be discussing reparatory history, with the following readings: 
    Catherine Hall, "Doing Reparatory History: Bringing 'Race' and Slavery Home," Race & Class 60, no. 1 (2018): 3-21. 
    David Scott, "Preface: Evil Beyond Repair," Small Axe 55 (2018): vii-x. 

  • October 14, 2021

    We'll be discussing the ethics of display of visual and material culture, with the following readings: 
    Wandile Kasibe, "The Skulls of Our Ancestors," News24 (March 18, 2018),
    Jane Nicholas, "A Debt to the Dead? Ethics, Photography, History, and the Study of Freakery," Social History 47 (2014): 139-155. 
    Paul Weindling, "'Cleansing' Anatomical Collections: The Politics of Removing Specimens from German Anatomical and Medical Collections, 1988-92," Annals of Anatomy 194 (2012): 237-242. 
    The Weindling and Nicholas readings are in the PDF, and the Kasibe article can be accessed via the link above. 

  • September 9, 2021

    We'll be discussing writing the patient's perspective, with the following readings: 
    Roy Porter, "The Patient's View: Doing Medical History from Below," Theory and Society 14, no. 2 (1985): 175-198.
    Alexandra Bacopoulos-Viau and Aude Fayvel, "The Patient's Turn: Roy Porter and Psychiatry's Tales, Thirty Years on," Medical History 60, no. 1 (2016): 1-18. 
    Anna Reisman, "Should Doctors Write About Patients?" The Atlantic (February 18, 2015),

  • August 12, 2021

    Discussion of selections from Susan Lawrence's Privacy and the Past: Research, Law, Archives, Ethics (2016) and Julia Laite's "The Emmet's Inch: Small History in a Digital Age." 

Group Conveners

  • DrKylieSmith's picture

    Kylie Smith

    Kylie Smith is Associate Professor and Andrew W. Mellon Faculty Fellow for Nursing and the Humanities at Emory University and the 2021 Presidents Humanities Fellow at the Fox Center for Humanistic Inquiry. Her previous book Talking Therapy: Knowledge and Power in American Psychiatric Nursing (Rutgers University Press, 2020) has won two book of the year awards. Her new project Jim Crow in the Asylum: Psychiatry and Civil Rights in the American South is supported by the National Library of Medicine G13 award. She is the current Editor in Chief of Nursing Philosophy and has been book review editor for Nursing History Review and Chair of Awards and Board Member of the American Association for the History of Nursing.


  • cthompson's picture

    Courtney Thompson

    Courtney Thompson is assistant professor of the history of science and medicine and women’s and gender history in the Department of History at Mississippi State University, where she also chairs the Medical Humanities Certificate program. Her first book, An Organ of Murder: Crime, Violence, and Phrenology in Nineteenth-Century America, was published in February 2021 with Rutgers University Press; she has also published articles and short essays in Eighteenth-Century Studies; Social History of Medicine; Journal of the History of Medicine and Allied Sciences; Isis; and Endeavour. She currently serves as the Book Review Editor for Journal of the History of Medicine and Allied Sciences.


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