University of South Alabama, Office of Public Relations
 
January 28, 2010
Contact: Joy Crawford-Washington, Office of Public Relations, (251) 460-6211
 
USA Presents 2010 Howard F. Mahan Lecture
 
Dr. Susan M. Reverby, the Marion Butler McLean Professor in the History of Ideas and professor of women’s and gender studies at Wellesley College

The University of South Alabama department of history in the College of Arts and Sciences presents the 10th annual Howard F. Mahan Lecture Series featuring Dr. Susan M. Reverby, the Marion Butler McLean Professor in the History of Ideas and professor of women’s and gender studies at Wellesley College.

She will lecture on “Race, Medicine and Research: Re-examining the Infamous Tuskegee Syphilis Study and Its Legacy” on Tuesday, Feb. 23 at 7:30 p.m. in the Laidlaw Performing Arts Center Recital Hall. The event is free and open to the public.

“Dr. Reverby is recognized as an internationally known historian of American medicine, nursing and public health,” said Dr. Clarence L. Mohr, chair and professor in the department of history. “We are honored to have her accept our invitation to speak at USA.”

In her new book, “Examining Tuskegee: The Infamous Syphilis Study and Its Legacy,” Reverby details the study’s racist history, explains how people experienced it and why the doctors thought it was the right thing to do. She also takes advantage of the recently opened medical records, hundreds of documents and scores of interviews. She takes an in-depth look at medical testing that targeted hundreds of poor African-American men near rural Tuskegee, Ala. The federally-sponsored testing of syphilis, which ran for about 40 years, raised ethical questions about the use of clinical testing in humans.

"The study should teach us about why the government needs to provide affordable health care. If these men had decent health care, they would never have agreed to be in what they thought was a 'treatment program,'" Reverby said. "It's a reminder of the need for informed consent and vigilance, not rejection, of medical science and the necessity for government help."

Reverby's areas of expertise include race and women's health and medicine. She is the editor, co-editor and author of numerous essays and books.

Reverby earned her bachelor's degree from Cornell University in labor history, her master's degree from New York University in American civilization, and her doctorate in American studies from Boston University.

The Mahan Lecture Series was created in honor of USA history department founder, Howard F. Mahan, who served as chair of the history department from 1964 until 1983.

For more information, contact Dr. Martha Jane Brazy at mjbrazy@jaguar1.usouthal.edu.

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