Susan M. Reverby, professor of women’s studies at Wellesley College, focuses her scholarship on issues of women’s agency, race, class, and gender in health care history and the ethics of research. She is the editor or coeditor of several books, and her prize-winning book, Ordered to Care: The Dilemma of American Nursing (Cambridge University Press, 1987), is considered one of the preeminent histories presenting an overview of American nursing.
At Radcliffe, Reverby will advance her latest project, a book that reconsiders the infamous Tuskegee Syphilis Study. During this forty-year (1932–1972) “experiment” to study “untreated syphilis in the male Negro,” the US Public Health Service neither told its “subjects” the facts of their disease nor completely treated them. Reverby previously edited the book Tuskegee’s Truths: Rethinking the Tuskegee Syphilis Study (University of North Carolina Press, 2000). In her new book, she will examine how certain facts and fictions about the study have been created over time and what they tell us about the shifting historical connections among race, medicine, experimentation, and memory.
Reverby holds degrees from Cornell and New York universities and a PhD in American studies from Boston University. She has received grants from the American Council of Learned Societies, the National Endowment for the Humanities, and the American Association of University Women. She has been a Bunting Institute fellow at Radcliffe and a fellow at W.E.B. DuBois Institute at Harvard University.