Let's look at the record
Martin Summers, associate professor of history
PhD, Rutgers University
Representative publication: Manliness and Its discontents: The Black Middle Class and the Transformation of Masculinity, 1900-1930, Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 2004
I am interested in the interplay of race, gender, sexuality, and medicine in the United States during the 19th and 20th centuries. In 2001, I was doing research at the National Archives and came upon an extensive collection of materials from St. Elizabeths [sic] Hospital—a large federal mental hospital in Washington, D.C., created in 1855. Using these records as a case study, I am writing a history of the racial dimension of American society's approach to mental illness by tracing the differences in state responses to people of various races who were deemed to be insane.