Race, Gender and the History of American Gynecology
Inside the Class
- Learn the untold history of American Gynecology, including the work of Dr. James Marion Sims and enslaved women, Anarcha, Lucy, Betsey, and more.
- Understand the foundational role institutional slavery played in the advancement of American medicine.
- Notice that the same tools used in your gynecological exams trace back to experimentation on enslaved women’s bodies, without anethestia.
- Connect the dots between the institution of slavery and modern American healthcare, from racist medical practices, inequitable access to care, and deadly health outcomes for Black women.
About the Educator
Dr. Deirdre Cooper Owens is an award-winning historian, speaker, and author of the infamous book, “Medical Bondage: Race, Gender and the Origins of American Gynecology.” She’s Professor of the History of Medicine and Director of the Humanities in Medicine Program at the University of Nebraska, Lincoln – making her one of two Black women in the country running a medical humanities program. Dr. Cooper Owens is also the Director of the Program in African American History at the Library Company of Philadelphia, the country’s oldest cultural institution. Connect with Dr. Deirdre Cooper Owens here.
About the Lessons (55 minutes)
- Intro (1:31)
- The Father’s of Gynecology (32:51)
- The Legacy of Medical Racism (5:09)
- Q+A with Dr. Deirdre Cooper Owens (20:40)