Nationally Recognized Author, Medical Historian to Lecture at W&J College

Created: April 24, 2018  |  Last Updated: October 18, 2021  |  Category:   |  Tagged:

WASHINGTON, PA (April 23, 2018) - Nationally recognized author and medical historian Dr. Keith A. Wailoo will give a free and public lecture at Washington & Jefferson College on Tuesday, May 1 at 7:30 p.m. in Yost Auditorium of the Howard J. Burnett Center.

His talk, “The Politics of Pain: Medicine, Race, and Relief in America,” will focus on the ways in which methods pain treatment are influenced and affected by racial issues in the United States.

Wailoo, an expert in the areas of health policy, and the history and cultural politics of disease, is currently the Henry Putnam University Professor of History and Public Affairs at Princeton University. He teaches in the Department of History and the Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs. His books and research focus on health disparities, scientific and technological innovation in medical care, medical specialization, and the role of identity, gender, race and ethnicity in medicine, public health, and society.

W&J Assistant Professor of History David Kieran, Ph.D. said Wailoo’s work has a direct impact on conversations happening in Southwestern Pennsylvania and surrounding areas as local communities confront the opioid crisis.

"Dr. Wailoo is a nationally recognized expert in the history of medicine and his work both on the racial dimensions of medicine and the history of the ways Americans have thought about and treated pain are groundbreaking,” Kieran said. “This is a great opportunity for people from both W&J and Washington to talk with a nationally recognized scholar about something we talk about every day in our local community."

Wailoo is the author of five books, including Pain: A Political History (Johns Hopkins University Press, 2014), How Cancer Crossed the Color Line (Oxford University Press, 2011), and The Troubled Dream of Genetic Medicine (Johns Hopkins University Press, 2006), which received the Association of American Publishers book award in History of Science. He has also edited numerous studies on health and public policy, and his work has been published in the New York Times, American Prospect, the Journal for the History and Philosophy of the Life Sciences, and the Journal of Health Politics, Policy, and Law, among others. He was elected to the National Academy of Medicine (formerly the Institute of Medicine) in 2007 and has served as a member of the IOM's Health Sciences Policy Board, Committee on Increasing Rates of Organ Donation, Committee on Ethical and Social Policy Considerations on Novel Techniques for Prevention of Maternal Transmission of Mitochondrial Diseases.

His May 1 lecture is co-sponsored by W&J’s History Department, American Studies Program, and Pre-Health Program.

About Washington & Jefferson College

Washington & Jefferson College, located in Washington, Pa., is a selective liberal arts college founded in 1781. Committed to providing each of its students with the highest-quality undergraduate education available, W&J offers a traditional arts and sciences curriculum emphasizing interdisciplinary study and independent study work. For more information about W&J, visit, or call 888-W-AND-JAY.