Maladies of Empire

Maladies of Empire: How Colonialism, Slavery, and War Transformed Medicine

5:00pm - 7:30pm / Wednesday 12th October 2022
Type: Other / Category: Research / Series: Centre for the Study of International Slavery
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As part of BHM, CSIS and CHMEH are proud to announce a public talk with Dr Jim Downs, Gettysburg College, to discuss his latest publication.

The Centre for the Study of International Slavery (CSIS) and the Centre for Health, Medical and Environmental Humanities (CHMEH) present a public book talk featuring Dr Jim Downs, Professor of Civil War and History at Gettysburg College, Pennsylvania. His newest publication, Maladies of Empire: How Colonialism, Slavery, and War Transformed Medicine re-examines the evolution of modern medicine to further investigate the advances made through the contributions of non-consenting subjects, including enslaved men, women, and children. This publication demonstrates a seminal methodology when articulating the history of medicine with glowing reviews from numerous academics, including:

“Maladies of Empire has a captivating writing style, is exhaustively researched, and is persuasive in argumentation. Jim Downs has written a game-changing book.”—Deirdre Cooper Owens, author of Medical Bondage: Race, Gender, and the Origins of American Gynecology

“In this brilliant and timely book, Jim Downs uncovers the origins of epidemiology in slavery, colonialism, and war…A most original global history, this book is required reading for historians, medical researchers, and really anyone interested in the origins of modern medicine.”—Sven Beckert, author of the Bancroft Prize–winning Empire of Cotton: A Global History

To purchase the book, seePurchase Book

About our speaker:
Jim Downs is the author of Maladies of Empire: How Colonialism, Slavery, and War Transformed Medicine (Harvard UP, 2021), which will be translated into Chinese, French, Japanese, Korean, and Russian. His other books include Sick from Freedom: African American Sickness and Suffering during the Civil War and Reconstruction (Oxford UP, 2012) and Stand By Me: The Forgotten History of Gay Liberation (Basic Books, 2016).
He has published essays in The Atlantic, The New Yorker, The Washington Post, The New York Times, Vice, Slate, The Lancet, LA Times, among others. He is also the editor of Civil War History. Downs is the Gilder Lehrman-National Endowment for the Humanities Professor of Civil War Era Studies and History at Gettysburg College. He is a partner at History Studio.
He is currently the Sheila Biddle Ford Foundation Fellow at The Hutchins Center for African & African American Research at Harvard University.