Past events

April 22, 2021

Drugs, Politics, and Pariahs: Or, How to Think About Race and Harm Reduction in an Opioid Epidemic

Samuel Kelton Roberts, PhD

Dr. Roberts presents a history of race and the current opioid crisis, also stopping to offer thoughts about how harm reduction can and should be infused with racial and economic justice agendas.

Roberts is Associate Professor of History and Sociomedical Sciences at Columbia University, where he leads the Research Cluster for Historical Study of Race, Inequality, and Health. Roberts hosts the public health and justice podcast PDIS: People Doing Interesting Stuff and is writing a book tentatively titled "To Enter a Society Which Doesn’t Want Them": Race, Recovery, and America’s Misadventures in Drug Policy.

Samuel Kelton Roberts
HMED Lecture 2019 digital sign

"Perfect Pregnancies and Mourned Miscarriages: A History of Modern Childbearing"

2019 Linda and Charles Wilson Humanities in Medicine Lecture

Lara Freidenfelds, PhD, offers a far-reaching look at the rise of our current childbearing culture from its earliest glimmers in the Revolutionary era to today. She concludes with suggestions for how we might set realistic and humane expectations for childbearing, and accept the inevitable imperfections of this most human of endeavors.

A historian of health, reproduction, and parenting in America, Freidenfelds holds a doctorate in history of science and a bachelor’s degree in social anthropology from Harvard University. Her book, The Modern Period: Menstruation in Twentieth-Century America, was awarded the Emily Toth Prize for Best Book in Women’s Studies from the Popular Culture/American Culture Association.

“Medical Bondage and the Birth of Gynecology”

Deirdre Cooper Owens
Professor, Queens College

Dr. Deirdre Cooper Owens moves between southern plantations and northern urban centers to reveal how nineteenth-century American ideas about race, health, and status influenced doctor-patient relationships in sites of healing like slave cabins, medical colleges, and hospitals.

She retells the story of the rise of modern gynecology from the perspectives of black enslaved women and Irish immigrant women.

HMED Lecture 2018 digital sign
HMED Keynote Event

Pitching Drugs to Patients - and Doctors

Nancy Tomes, Ph. D., is a Distinguished Professor of History at Stony Brook University, State University of New York (SUNY). Tomes is a past president of the American Association for the History of Medicine (AAHM). Her latest book is Remaking the American Patient: How Madison Avenue and Modern Medicine Turned Patients into Consumers (University of North Carolina Press), 2016.

"Great Wits and Madness: The Arts, Medicine, and Mental Illness"

Dr. Mark Vonnegut
2015 Linda and Charles Wilson Humanities in Medicine Lecture

Wednesday, April 22, 5PM
Jackie Gaughan Multicultural Center (Unity Room), UNL

Dr. Mark Vonnegut, pediatrician, memoirist, and artist, will be the Linda and Charles Wilson Humanities in Medicine Speaker for 2015. He is the author of several books, including The Eden Express: A Memoir of Insanity (1975) and more recently Just Like Someone Without Mental Illness Only Moreso (2010).

Mark Vonnegut event
Life and Limb

Life and Limb

The National Library of Medicine's traveling exhibit, "Life and Limb: The Toll of the American Civil War," was displayed April 14-May 24, 2014 at Love Library.

Two programs supported the exhibit:

  • "Civil War Suffering: Making Sense of the Civil War" by Susan Lawrence, historian of medicine at Ohio State University
  • "Life and Limbs After War," a round table discussion with veterans from the wars in Vietnam, Iraq and Afghanistan and providers from the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs Nebraska-Western Iowa Health Care System.