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Evelynn Hammonds: African American Feminist And Scholar



Professor Hammonds is the Barbara Gutmann Rosenkrantz Professor of History of Science and Professor of African and African American Studies at Harvard College, as well as the current Chair of the History of Science Department. She holds a Ph.D. in the History of Science Department at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, an S.M. in physics at the Georgia Institute of Technology, a B.E.E. in electrical engineering at the Georgia Institute of Technology, and a B.S. in physics at Spelman College. Before coming to Harvard, she taught at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

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She was the founding director of the MIT Center for the Study of Diversity in Science, Technology, and Medicine while at MIT. Professor Hammonds has taught at UCLA and Hampshire College as a visiting professor.


She was Harvard College’s first Senior Vice Provost for Faculty Development and Diversity (2005-2008). She was Dean of Harvard College from 2008 to 2013. She is an honorary doctorate recipient of Spelman College and Bates College. Professor Hammonds’ research interests include US history of science, medicine, and public health, race and gender in science studies, feminist theory, and African American history. Childhood’s Deadly Scourge: The Campaign to Control Diphtheria in New York City, 1880-1930 is her book (1999).

She co-edited The Harvard Sampler: Liberal Education for the Twenty-First Century (2011) with Jennifer M. Shephard and Stephen M. Kosslyn, and The Nature of Difference: Sciences of Race in the United States from Jefferson to Genomics with Rebecca Herzig (2008; and 2013).

She has also written about the history of disease, race, and science, as well as African American feminism, African American women and the HIV/AIDS epidemic, and gender and race in science and medicine. Professor Hammonds’ current research focuses on how scientific, medical, and sociopolitical concepts of race intersect in the United States.

She was a Sigma Xi Distinguished Lecturer (2003-2005), a Visiting Scholar at the Max Planck Institute for the History of Science in Berlin, a Post-Doctoral Fellow at the Institute for Advanced Study in Princeton’s School of Social Science, and a Visiting Professor at UCLA and Hampshire College. Professor Hammonds was named an Association of Women in Science (AWIS) Fellow in 2008. She has served on the Spelman College Board of Trustees and is currently on the Board of Directors of the Arcus Foundation and the Board of Overseers of the Museum of Science in Boston.



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