Keith Wailoo

B.A, 1984, Yale University; M.A., 1989, and Ph.D. (History and Sociology of Science), 1992, University of Pennsylvania; joint appointment: Associate Professor of History

Academic Interests

    My chief interest is the history of American medicine, with emphases on medical ideas and technologies, and on the cultural, social and political history of medicine. My teaching (both in Social Medicine and in the History Department) includes a survey of the History of American Medicine; a graduate course on Topics and Methods in the History of Science, Medicine and Technology; second-year medical selectives on Disease in Historical Perspective and The Politics of Child and Family Health in America; and the first-year medical course, Medicine and Society.

    My research focuses on the role of technology in 20th century medicine; I've explored technology's changing influence by way of a history of blood and blood disease. Among the diseases I've written on are sickle cell anemia, pernicious anemia, and AIDS. In my book, Drawing Blood : Technology and Disease Identity in Twentieth-Century America (Johns Hopkins University Press, 1997) I explore how numerous forces -- including medical specialization, changing medical relations with the pharmaceutical industry and the federal government, attitudes toward particular patient groups, and the growth of bureaucracy -- have shaped medical ideas about blood, blood disease, and patients with these diseases. I am currently involved in a study of gene therapy in sickle cell anemia and cystic fibrosis and am also completing another book, entitled Dying in the City of the Blues: Sickle Cell Anemia, Race, and Visibility in the Urban South. It is a study of the political economy of sickle-cell disease and black health in 20th-century America, focusing on the Mid-South region in general and Memphis, Tennessee in particular.

You may contact Dr. Wailoo by email:; by phone at: (919) 962-1136; or by post at: CB #7240, Department of Social Medicine / University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill / Chapel Hill, NC 27599-7240.