McPherson-Mitchell Lecture set for Feb. 24 at Troy University

Posted: Wednesday, 04 February 2009

TROY- One of the nation’s leading medical historians will be the guest speaker at the sixth annual McPherson-Mitchell Lecture in Southern History on Feb. 24 at Troy University. The lecture will begin at 5 p.m. in the Claudia Crosby Theater on the Troy Campus.

Dr. Margaret Humphreys, the Josiah Charles Trent Professor in the History of Medicine and Associate Clinical Professor of Medicine of Duke University, will be the guest speaker for the lecture, which is sponsored by the University’s Department of History and the TROY Chapter of Phi Alpha Theta international history honor society.

The McPherson-Mitchell lecture series is held in honor of Norma Mitchell and Milton McPherson, retired Troy University history professors who together gave 50 years of service to the university. McPherson served on the TROY faculty from 1968 until 1989, while Dr. Mitchell was a faculty member from 1970 until 1999.

Dr. Humphreys will speak on “The South’s Secret Weapons: Disease, Environment and the Civil War.”
A specialist in the history of science and medicine, Dr. Humphreys has focused her research and publications primarily on infectious disease in the U.S. and the American south, while her current research explores the history of medicine during the American Civil War.

Dr. Humphreys has published three books – “Yellow Fever and the South;” “Malaria: Poverty, Race and Public Health in the United States;” and “Intensely Human: The Health of Black Soldiers in the American Civil War.” She is presently working on the book, “The Civil War and American Medicine,” to be published by Johns Hopkins Press.

In addition to her own research, Dr. Humphreys is currently Editor in Chief of the Journal of the History of Medicine and Allied Sciences.

Dr. Karen Ross, assistant professor in the Department of History, said Dr. Humphreys brings a broad appeal to the lecture.

“We are thrilled to have Dr. Humphreys as our speaker for the McPherson-Mitchell lecture,” Dr. Ross said. “She is not only one of the most respected in the field of the history of medicine, but she also specializes in the areas of Southern history, the Civil War and health issues related to race.”

The lecture is open to the public and is free of charge.