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Dr. Nancy Tomes, president of the SUNY University Senate and SUNY distinguished professor of history, will join the Southwestern community virtually for a campus presentation and Q&A. Join us for an hour-long conversation. 

The session will be moderated by Dr. Jethro Hernández Berrones, associate professor of history at Southwestern University.

Students, faculty, staff, alumni, and parents may attend. Click here to register.


SUNYDr. Nancy Tomes
Dr. Tomes has been on the Stony Brook faculty since 1978.  She earned her Ph.D. in American history at the University of Pennsylvania. Tomes’ area of expertise is the history of American health and health care. She is the author of four books: A Generous Confidence: Thomas Story Kirkbride and the Art of Asylum Keeping (Cambridge, 1984; paperback U Penn, 1994); Madness in America: Cultural and Medical Perceptions of Mental Illness before 1914, with Lynn Gamwell (Cornell, 1995); The Gospel of Germs: Men, Women and the Microbe in American Life (Harvard, 1998), and Remaking the American Patient: How Madison Avenue and Modern Medicine Turned Patients into Consumers (UNC Press, 2016). She has co-edited two collections, Medicine’s Moving Pictures, with Leslie Reagan and Paula Treichler (Rochester, 2007) and Patients as Policy Actors with Beatrix Hoffman, Rachel Grob, and Mark Schlesinger (Rutgers, 2011). In collaboration with Duke University Library’s Special Collections, she developed “Medicine and Madison Avenue,” a website on the history of health-related advertising (http://scriptorium.lib.duke.edu/mma/).   

Dr Tomes’ research has been supported by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, the National Endowment for the Humanities, the National Library of Medicine, the National Humanities Center, the Rockefeller Foundation, and the National Institute for Mental Health. Her book The Gospel of Germs won the American Association for the History of Medicine’s Welch medal and the History of Science Society’s Davis prize. In 2011, the American Public Health Association awarded her the Arthur Viseltear Award for “her distinguished body of scholarship in the history of public health.” In 2017, she received the Bancroft Prize for distinguished work in American history for Remaking the American Patient. From 2012 to 2014, she served as President of the American Association for the History of Medicine. In 2017 and 2018, she was a resident fellow at the University of Utrecht’s Descartes Center for the History and Philosophy of the Sciences; there she began a new comparative project on changing standards of medical professionalism in the post-WW2 period, being done in collaboration with Dutch and British colleagues.  

While she enjoys her research, Tomes is also an enthusiastic teacher of Stony Brook undergraduate and graduate students. She teaches survey courses in American history along with more specialized courses on the history of disease, the evolution of the American mental hospital, and Presidential assassinations in historical perspective.