FOR RELEASE: Thursday, March 27, 2008
Medical Historian to Speak on Secret Weapons of the South
FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. – Margaret Humphreys, the Josiah Charles Trent Professor in the History of Medicine and an associate clinical professor of medicine at Duke University, will speak on “The South’s Secret Weapons: Disease, Environment and the Civil War” at 7 p.m. Wednesday, April 2, in Giffels Auditorium at the University of Arkansas.
“Confederate leaders believed that their region’s most dreaded diseases, malaria and yellow fever, would stop Union forces from invading and conquering the South,” said Elliott West, distinguished professor in history in the J. William Fulbright College of Arts and Sciences at the University of Arkansas. “Professor Humphreys will discuss those diseases’ actual impact on the war and how both sides dealt with them.”
Her major interest is the history of disease in America, especially in the South. Until the last half of the 20th century, diseases such as malaria, yellow fever, pellagra, and hookworm marked the South as tropical, impoverished, and strikingly different from the rest of the United States.
Humphreys has received research support from the American Council of Learned Societies, the National Library of Medicine, the Burroughs-Wellcome History of Medicine Fund and the Trent Foundation. She is a recipient of the Frederick Burkhardt Fellowship at the National Humanities Center, American Council of Learned Societies.
Elliott West, distinguished professor, department of history
Lynn Fisher, communications director