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Grant number: FT-60490-13

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Leslie A. Schwalm
University of Iowa (Iowa City, IA 52242-1320)

Racial Knowledge, Medical Science, and the American Civil War

This project studies emancipation as a critical moment in the history of ideas about race as they became an increasingly important aspect of American medical science and public health policy during and after the Civil War. Two converging and mutually constitutive developments serve as the project's focus: the modernization of American military and civilian medicine, and a new elaboration of evolving medical and scientific beliefs in racial categories of difference. Tracing the collection and analysis of medical and anthropometric data about African Americans conducted by various medical and military officials (including civilian health care workers as well as the U.S. Army and the United States Sanitary Commission) during the Civil War, this project demonstrates how medical science was recruited in the service of firmer, more irrefutable racial ideologies after the war.

Project fields:
American Studies

Summer Stipends

Research Programs

Total amounts:
$6,000 (approved)
$6,000 (awarded)

Grant period:
6/1/2013 – 7/31/2013