Dr Stephen Kenny PhD FHEA

Senior Lecturer, 19th and 20th century North American History History


    Personal Statement

    Completing a monograph - 'Before Tuskegee: racism, power and the culture of medicine under slavery and Jim Crow' - examining human experimentation in the Deep South before and after the Civil War. The book will explore and reveal: (i) historiographical myths of medical practice in the slave South; (ii) the deep-rooted racist nature of medical education, research and practice under slavery and Jim Crow; (iii) the career opportunities and financial rewards that so-called 'negro medicine' brought; (iv) the enormous scale and intensity of the medical profession's exploitation of enslaved subjects, which only increased after slavery; (v) and the black patient experiences in the face of these pressures.

    Particularly interested in histories of human experiments under American slavery.https://theconversation.com/statues-of-medical-racist-who-experimented-on-slaves-should-also-be-taken-down-82704

    Collaborative New Orleans public radio program broadcast (Tripod: New Orleans at 300) on Touro Infirmary's First Admission Book and role as a slave hospital: http://www.wwno.org/post/if-these-pages-could-talk-touro-infirmarys-first-admission-book

    The Conversation reports linked above and below highlight many of the core themes and issues explored in the larger project:https://theconversation.com/how-black-slaves-were-routinely-sold-as-specimens-to-ambitious-white-doctors-43074

    For inspiration watch this TED Talk by a selfless human being who should be President of the U.S. (Bryan Stevenson of the Equal Justice Initiative):


    Personal Distinctions

    • 'African-Americans in the Rudolph Matas Collection of Clinical Photographs' (Invitation to Speak, LJMU School of Art and Design 2018)
    • 'The visual display of black medical subjects from slavery to segregation' (Invitation to Speak, Rice University (Houston, Texas) 2018)
    • "… apparently more frequent in the negro”: black patients in Rudolph Matas’ visual archive’ (Invitation to Speak, American Association for the History of Medicine (Nashville, 2017)
    • Human Experiments under American Slavery (Invitation to Speak, Department of History, Manchester Metropolitan University 2017)
    • Capturing Racial Pathology: American Medical Photography in the Era of Jim Crow (Invitation to Speak, Department of History, University of Liverpool 2017)
    • DISPLAYING HUMANS: HISTORICAL AND CONTEMPORARY PERSPECTIVES (Invitation to Speak, Anthony Walker Education Centre, International Slavery Museum 2016)
    • Reframing the patient: Humanizing early 20th century clinical photographs (Invitation to Speak, Victoria Gallery & Museum, University of Liverpool 2016)
    • "For the reception of diseased negroes": place, space and slave hospitals (Invitation to Speak, Society for the Social History of Medicine 2016)
    • Dark Medicine: human experiments under American slavery (Invitation to Speak, Centre for Human Science, University of North Carolina 2016)
    • 'Human Experiments under American Slavery' (Invitation to Speak, Wilberforce Institute for the study of Slavery and Emancipation (WISE) 2016)
    • 'Human Experiments Under American Slavery' (Invitation to Speak, Department of History, Tulane University 2015)
    • Dark Medicine and the genesis of Life and Limb (Life and Limb: the First Encounter, Liverpool University 2015)
    • Henry Ramsay, the Georgia Blister, and the professionalization of “Negro medicine” (Invitation to Speak, American Association for the History of Medicine, Yale University 2015)
    • “Infantile therapeutics” in the slave South: an emerging field of medical research (Invitation to Speak, Pregnancy, Childbearing and Infant Care: Historical Perspectives from Slave and Non- Slave Societies, Newcastle University 2015)
    • "Specimens Calculated to Shock the Soundest Sleeper": the educational lives of anatomical and pathological exhibits on-board the Louisiana Health Train, 1910-1911 (Invitation to Speak, Bodies Beyond Borders. The Circulation of Anatomical Knowledge, 1750-1950, KU Leuven 2015)
    • Dark Medicine: racism, power and the culture of American slavery (Invitation to Speak, Northern Network of Medical Humanities, Bluecoat Chambers, Liverpool 2014)
    • Significant patterns in human subject research under American slavery (Invitation to Speak, Society for the Social History of Medicine, St. Anne's College, Oxford 2014)
    • Reynolds Associates Research Fellowship in the History of the Health Sciences (Competitive Fellowship, The Historical Collections Unit of the Lister Hill Library of the Health Sciences, University of Alabama at Birmingham 2013)
    • A prosopography of healthcare in the slaveholding American South (Invitation to Speak, Prosopography and the History of Healthcare, Kingston University 2013)
    • 'How Southern culture shaped museum collecting: African-Americans as medical specimens' (Invitation to Speak, Leiden University 2012)
    • Franklin International Scholars Programme Fellow (Competitive Fellowship, Franklin College of Arts and Sciences, University of Georgia 2012)
    • 'How southern culture shaped the specimen harvest: slave bodies in networks of anatomical exchange' (Invitation to Speak, University of Mississippi 2012)
    • Stanley Jackson Award (Prize, Journal of the History of Medicine and Allied Sciences 2012)
    • 'Race, Slavery and the Development of Medical Museums in Antebellum American South' (Invitation to Speak, University of Georgia, Department of History and Franklin International Faculty Exchange Program 2011)
    • 'Race, Slavery and the Development of Medical Museums in Antebellum American South' (Invitation to Speak, American Association for the History of Medicine (84th Annual Meeting, Philadelphia) 2011)
    • 'Anatomy and the enslaved in the American South' (Invitation to Speak, Liverpool Medical History Society 2010)
    • 'The Slave Body in the World of Southern Medicine' (Invitation to Speak, College of Charleston, Avery Research Center and Center for the Carolina Lowcountry and Atlantic World 2010)
    • 'Anatomy, Autopsy, and Dissection of the Enslaved in the American South’ (Invitation to Speak, University of Glasgow, Andrew Hook Centre for American Studies 2010)
    • 'Slave Hospitals in the Antebellum American South’ (Invitation to Speak, Chester and North Wales Medical History Society 2009)
    • 'Sickness and Chains: the signficance of enslaved patients in antebellum Southern infirmaries' (Invitation to Speak, International Network for the History of Hospitals 2009)
    • Watson-Brown Foundation Short Term Visiting Fellowship (Competitive Fellowship, Institute for Southern Studies, University of South Carolina 2009)
    • ' ... a dictate of interest and mercy': slave infirmaries in the antebellum South (Invitation to Speak, British Association of American Studies 2008)
    • Sickness and Chains: Enslaved Patients in Antebellum Southern Slave Infirmaries (Invitation to Speak, American Association for the History of Medicine 2008)
    • 'Slave health, negro physicians, and infirmaries for the enslaved in the antebellum South' (British American Nineteenth-Century Historians 2008)
    • 'Anatomy, autopsy, and dissection of the enslaved in the Old South' (Invitation to Speak, British Association of American Studies 2007)
    • 'Monsters, Museums and the Southern Medical Profession' (Invitation to Speak, Society for the Social History of Medicine 2006)
    • The enslaved body and the development of professional medicine' (Invitation to Speak, British Association for American Studies 2004)
    • Visiting Research Fellow (Institute for Southern Studies, University of South Carolina 1999)
    • Visiting Research Fellow (Institute for Southern Studies, University of South Carolina 1996)

    Administrative Roles

    • Departmental co-ordinator of PGR (from 2017)

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