The Dr. Martin A. Entin Lecture in the History of Medicine

March 13, 2024     2:30-4:00pm

Scott Podolsky, Harvard University       Scott Podolsky Photo

Oliver Wendell Holmes, Racism, and Remembrance

William Osler considered Oliver Wendell Holmes, Sr. (1809-1894) "the most successful combination which the world has ever seen, of the physician and man of letters." This talk examines the shifting depiction of Oliver Wendell Holmes, Sr., as well as Holmes's evolving considerations of hereditary determinism and race over the course of the nineteenth century, as a test case concerning the evolving evaluation of historical figures in the history of medicine, from Holmes and Osler onward.






Past Speakers

Nahyan Fancy, de Pauw University, 15 March 2023

Kirsten Ostherr, Rice University, 20 March 2022

Michael Stolberg, Institute for the History of Medicine, Würzburg, Germany, 1 April 2020

Sunil Amrith, Harvard University, 28 March 2019

Emma Spary, Cambridge University, 23 November 2016

Daniel Carpenter, Harvard University, 18 March 2015

Michael Hagner, ETH Zurich, 10 February 2012

Mike Harrington, Harvard University, 1 March 2010

Sander L. Gilman, Emory University, 30 March 2009

Allan Brandt, Harvard University, 5 March 2008


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