MTSU Welcomes Harvard Expert on Race, Gender & Science for Online Lecture


A Harvard University scholar who studies gender, race, science and medicine and how they connect — and can affect the medical treatment people receive — will talk with an MTSU audience Thursday, Oct. 22, at this fall’s free Strickland Visiting Scholar Lecture.

Evelynn M. Hammonds, the Barbara Gutmann Rosenkrantz Professor of the History of Science, a professor of African and African American studies, and chair of the Department of the History of Science at Harvard, will speak on “Gender, Race and Medical Science in the United States” via Zoom webinar at 6 p.m. Central Oct. 22.

Participants can join the free webinar beginning at 5:30 p.m. Central at No password will be required.

Hammonds, a native of Atlanta whose parents encouraged her childhood interest in history and science, earned her undergraduate degree in physics at Spelman College and a concurrent bachelor’s in electrical engineering from Georgia Tech in 1976 via a joint engineering program.

Her summer participation in a Bell Labs research fellowship program and membership in a Spelman physics students’ group ultimately led her to the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, where she earned a master’s degree in physics and chose a career as a software engineer.

She soon returned to academia, choosing Harvard for her doctoral degree in the history of science. MIT invited her to travel back down Massachusetts Avenue to join the faculty there, where she also founded the MIT Center for the Study of Diversity in Science, Technology and Medicine before returning to Harvard in 2002 to teach in two disciplines: the history of science and in African and African American studies.

By 2008, Hammonds was the first female and the first African American dean of Harvard College, the university’s undergraduate college. She returned to full-time teaching in 2013.

Among her many publications, Hammonds is the author of “Childhood’s Deadly Scourge: The Campaign to Control Diphtheria in New York City, 1880–1930” and co-editor of “The Nature of Difference: Sciences of Race in the United States from Jefferson to Genomics” and “Gender and Scientific Authority.”

Her articles focus on the history of disease, race and science; African American feminism; African American women and the epidemic of HIV/AIDS; and analyses of gender and race in science and medicine.

Hammonds is currently working on “The Logic of Difference: A History of Race in Science and Medicine in the United States, 1850–1990,” a history of biological, medical and anthropological uses of racial concepts. She also is co-editing the “MIT Reader on Race and Gender in Science.”

MTSU’s Department of History in the College of Liberal Arts sponsors the twice-a-year Strickland Lecture series. The Strickland Visiting Scholar program allows MTSU students to meet with renowned scholars whose expertise spans a variety of historical issues.

The Strickland family established the program in memory of Roscoe Lee Strickland Jr., a longtime professor of European history at MTSU and the first president of the university’s Faculty Senate.

For more information about this lecture, please contact MTSU’s Department of History at 615-898-5798 or visit