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Delta Blues Symposium features
medical historian Keith Wailoo

March 15, 2006 -- Medical historian Keith Wailoo will present the featured lecture at Delta Blues Symposium XII: Delta Diversity, sponsored by the Department of English and Philosophy at Arkansas State University in Jonesboro on Friday, March 31.

Professor of History at Rutgers University, Wailoo will speak on "How Cancer Crossed the Color Line: Problems with Identity and Regional in the War on Disease" in the auditorium of the Student Union at 4:30 p.m.

Wailoo, who had previously taught at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, holds a joint appointment at Rutgers in the Department of History and the Institute of Health, Health Care Policy, and Aging Research.

The focus of his research and teaching has been the relationship of disease and research in the biomedical sciences to issues of race, group identity, and health policy.

His book "Drawing the Blood: Technology and Disease Identity in Twentieth-Century America" (1997) won the Arthur Viseltear Book Award from the American Public Health Association.

His second book, "Dying in the City of the Blues: Sickle Cell Anemia and the Politics and of Race and Health" (2001), examines racially based differences in access to health care in Memphis. That book has won many awards, including the William H. Welch Medal from the American Association for the History of Medicine, the Lillian Smith Book Award for Non-fiction Work on Race and Social Justice in the South from the Southern Regional Council, and the Suzanne M. Glasscock Humanities Book Prize for Interdisciplinary Scholarship.

Wailoo is currently working on several new projects, including his study of race and cancer 20th century America. His interests also include the politics of pain management and the history of genetic medicine, particularly as applied to sickle cell anemia, Tay Sachs disease, and cystic fibrosis.

Delta Blues Symposium XII is sponsored by the Department of English and Philosophy at ASU, bringing together scholars, students, performers, and artists to examine the Mississippi Delta, consider its problems, and celebrate its culture. For further information, contact the Department of English and Philosophy at 870-972-3043 or visit the website:

Wailoo’s lecture, like all Symposium events, is free and open to the public.

-- Information provided by the Symposium Committee.

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