Professor of African and African American Studies
Chair, Department of the History of Science
Areas of Research: African & African-American Studies, History of Medicine, Science & Race, Science & Technology Studies, Women & Gender Studies
Professor Hammonds is the author of Childhood's Deadly Scourge: The Campaign to Control Diphtheria in New York City , 1880–1930 (Johns Hopkins University Press, 1999). She co-edited with Barbara Laslett, Sally G. Kohlstedt, and Helen Longino Gender and Scientific Authority (University of Chicago Press, 1996). She has published articles on the history of disease, race and science, African American feminism, African American women and the epidemic of HIV/AIDS, and analyses of gender and race in science and medicine. She is also the author of the article is "Gendering the Epidemic: Feminism and the Epidemic of HIV/AIDS in the United States, 1981-1999" which appears in Science, Medicine, and Technology in the 20th Century: What Difference Has Feminism Made? (2000).
Professor Hammonds's current work focuses on the intersection of scientific, medical, and socio-political concepts of race in the United States. She is completing a history of biological, medical, and anthropological uses of racial concepts entitled, The Logic of Difference: A History of Race in Science and Medicine in the United States , 1850–1990. She is also completing the MIT Reader on Race and Gender in Science co-edited with Rebecca Herzig and Abigail Bass. Professor Hammonds was named a Sigma Xi Distinguished Lecturer (2003–2005) by Sigma Xi, the Scientific Research Society. She has been a visiting scholar at the Max Planck Institute for the History of Science in Berlin and a Fellow in the School of Social Science at the Institute for Advanced Study in Princeton. In July 2005, Professor Hammonds was named Senior Vice Provost for Faculty Development and Diversity at Harvard University, and in March 2008, Professor Hammonds was named Dean of Harvard College.
Professor Hammonds earned a Ph.D. here in the Department of History of Science, an S.M. in physics from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, a B.E.E. in electrical engineering from the Georgia Institute of Technology, and a B.S. in physics from Spelman College. She taught at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology before coming to Harvard. While at MIT she was the founding director of the MIT Center for the Study of Diversity in Science, Technology, and medicine. Professor Hammonds has been a Visiting Professor at UCLA and Hampshire College.
- Freshman Seminar 41D: Sick and Tired of Being Sick and Tired: Health Disparities and African-Americans
- History of Science 144: Medical Technologies in Historical Perspective
- "The Nature of Difference: Sciences of Race in the United States from Jefferson to Genomics", 2008, MIT Press
- "Childhood's Deadly Scourge", 1999, Johns Hopkins University Press