Harvard Fellowship Awarded to Professor Jim Downs
By Alli Dayton, Managing/News Editor
This month, The Hutchins Center for African and African American Research at Harvard University announced their W.E.B. DuBois Research Institute Fellows for the 2022-2023 academic year. Gettysburg College’s Gilder Lehrman-National Endowment for the Humanities Professor of Civil War Studies Jim Downs was named a Shelia Biddle Ford Foundation Fellow.
During his fellowship, Downs will conduct research for his new book entitled “Deadly Water: A New Origin Story of Public Health,” which focuses on the effects of the cholera pandemic of 1866 on Black and Native Americans. Downs’ new book will continue the work from his most recent book called “Maladies of Empire: How Colonialism, Slavery, and War Transformed Medicine.”
Regarding his fellowship and the upcoming book, Downs said in a Gettysburg College article, “I have uncovered a ton of research about the epidemic, the government’s response, and the ways in which Black and Native communities attempted to protect themselves against what they called ‘the deadly scourge.’”
Downs is appreciative of this opportunity, and he is excited to bring what he learns back to Gettysburg College, specifically in his Narratives of Illness and Global Epidemics courses.