Gretchen Long to Lead Off Annual Faculty Lecture Series

Media contact: Noelle Lemoine, communications assistant; tele: (413) 597-4277; email: [email protected]

WILLIAMSTOWN, Mass., Feb. 1, 2011 — The annual Faculty Lecture Series will begin on Thursday, Feb. 10, with a talk by Gretchen Long, associate professor of history at Williams College, titled “‘He’s Got No License, Nor No Deplomer’: A Black Doctor and His Story After the Civil War.” The lecture will take place at 4 p.m. in Wege Auditorium, with a reception to follow in Schow atrium. The event is free and open to the public.

How and why did white authorities regulate African American medical practice? Did newly-free black people prefer black doctors to white doctors? What was freedom like for black people who were not agricultural laborers or domestic servants? Using a collection of letters from National Archives that chronicle the story of an African American man from Austin, Texas, who considered himself to be a doctor, Long explores conflicts involving medical practice, black communities, and government authority. The questions and their answers reveal new aspects of Emancipation and American medical history.

After arriving at Williams in 2003, Long received tenure in 2009. Her research centers on African American and American history, particularly American women’s history, American medical history, African American literature, and Emancipation. She has taught courses including The Age of Washington and DuBois, Fictions of African American History, African American History 1619-1865, and African American History 1865 to Present.

Last semester, Long was awarded a fellowship for research from Williams’ Oakley Center for the Humanities and Social Sciences, allowing her to study “Black Children in the American Imagination.” Previously, she was a research fellow at Harvard’s W.E.B. DuBois Institute for African and African American Studies.

During her fellowship at Harvard, Long worked on a book manuscript titled “Doctoring Freedom: The Politics of African American Medical Care,” which is currently under review with the University of North Carolina Press. She has also had book reviews published in the “Journal of American History” and the “Journal of Southern History.”

Long received her B.A. from Wesleyan in 1989 and her Ph.D. from the University of Chicago in 2003.

The year’s lecture series continues with five additional lectures, which will take place on the next five consecutive Thursdays. Each will take place in Wege at 4 p.m.

The next speaker, Associate Professor of Chinese Christopher Nugent, will speak on “A Medieval Chinese Poem in Its Material Contexts. The other speakers include Stephen Freund, Claire Ting, Brian Martin, and Olga Shevchenko.


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