Courtney Thompson

Courtney Thompson

Division

  • History of Science and Technology
  • Identity: Gender, Race and Region

Classification

  • Associate Professor

Discipline

  • History of U.S. Women
  • History of Science
  • History of Medicine

Title

  • Phi Alpha Theta Advisor
  • Medical Humanities Certificate committee chair

Contact

cthompson@history.msstate.edu
662-325-3604

Address

  • 237 Allen
  • Ph.D., History, Program in the History of Science and Medicine, Yale University, 2015
  • M.Phil., History, Program in the History of Science and Medicine, Yale University, 2013
  • M.A., History, Program in the History of Science and Medicine, Yale University, 2012
  • A.B., History and Science, secondary field in Studies of Women, Gender, and Sexuality, Harvard University, 2009. Phi Beta Kappa.
  • Associate Professor, Mississippi State University, 2022-
  • Assistant Professor, Mississippi State University, 2016-2022
  • Lecturer, History, Yale University, 2015-2016

History of nineteenth-century American medicine; medical humanities; history of the mind and body; history of women, gender, and sexuality; feminist science studies; history of emotions; visual culture; science and crime; psychiatry and mental illness. 

Book

  • An Organ of Murder cover

    An Organ of Murder: Crime, Violence, and Phrenology in Nineteenth-Century America (New Brunswick: Rutgers University Press, Feb. 2021).

Peer-Reviewed Articles and Essays

  • “In Charcot’s Shadow: On the Allure of “Great Men” and the Privileging of Epistemology in the History of Science and Medicine,” Canadian Journal of Health History/Bulletin canadien d’histoire de la medicine. Accepted, forthcoming.
  • Child-Mothers and Invisible Fathers: The Paradox of ‘Precocious Maternity’ and the Pervasiveness of Child Sexual Abuse in Nineteenth-Century America,” Journal of Women’s History 34, no. 4 (2022). Forthcoming.
  • “Danger, Disability, and Double Age: Precocity and the Misfit Bodymind in the Nineteenth Century,” Journal of the History of Childhood and Youth 15, no. 3 (Fall 2022): 376-386.
  • “Beyond Imperturbability: The Nineteenth-Century Medical Casebook as Affective Genre,” Bulletin of the History of Medicine 96, no. 2 (June 2022): 182-210. DOI: 10.1353/bhm.2022.0021
  • “‘Written of by Novelists’: Scripting and Managing Emotions in Nineteenth-Century Medical Manuscripts,” Medical Humanities (preprint: Nov. 2021). DOI: 10.1136/medhum-2020-012116
  • “Finding Deborah: Centering Patients and Placing Emotion in the History of Disease,” Isis 111, no. 4 (Dec. 2020): 826-829. DOI: 10.1086/712236.
  • “A Propensity to Murder: Phrenology in Antebellum Medico-Legal Theory and Practice,” Journal of the History of Medicine and Allied Sciences 74, no. 4 (October 2019): 416-439. DOI: 10.1093/jhmas/jrz055
  • Physogs: A Game with Consequences,” Endeavour 43, no. 3 (September 2019): 100689. DOI: 10.1016/j.endeavour.2019.07.002
  • “The Curious Case of Chastine Cox: Murder, Race, Medicine, and the Media in Gilded Age New York,” Social History of Medicine 32, no. 3 (August 2019): 481-501. DOI: 10.1093/shm/hkx112
  • “Questions of Genre: Picturing the Hermaphrodite in Eighteenth-Century France and England,” Eighteenth-Century Studies 49, no. 3 (Spring 2016): 391-413. DOI: 10.1353/ecs.2016.0020
  • Book reviews for Isis, Journal of the History of the Behavioral Sciences and Canadian Journal of History.

Public Scholarship

  • “Staging Anatomy for Fun and Profit,” Nursing Clio, January 11, 2022, link.
  • “Phrenology,” Encyclopedia of the History of Science (October 2021). DOI: 10.34758/ymce-b249, link.
  • “Archival Kismet: A Manifesto,” Nursing Clio, June 1, 2021, link.
  • “Choose Your Professional Path: Using Flexible Assignment Structures in Graduate Courses,” Perspectives on History: The Newsmagazine of the American Historical Association 59, no. 3 (March 2021): 17-19. Link.
  • “Death, Dignity, and Descendants,” History of Anthropology Review 45 (March 2021): link.
  • “Phrenology Is Here to Stay: ‘Pseudoscience,’ Race, and American Politics,” Arc Digital, February 11, 2021, link.
  • “Rediscovering ‘Good’ and ‘Bad’ Heads in the Phrenological Present,” Nursing Clio, December 8, 2020, link.

  

Selected Presentations

  • “‘if the black race does not become extinct as the Indian race…’: Theorizing Race and Practicing Medicine from the Rural South to Western Reservations,” Society for the History of Emotions, Florence, Italy, August 2022
  • “Indigenous Encounters and Archival Salvage: Ways of Knowing the Reservation,” Canadian Society for the History of Medicine (online conference), June 2022
  •  “The Lost Cause in the Postbellum Medical Classroom and Private Practice,” Conference on Reckoning With Race and Racism in Academic Medicine, Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, Baltimore, Maryland, May 2022
  • ‘Raising Hell’ in Fayetteville: Decoding the Diary of Henry Tracy Ivy,” Southern Association for the History of Medicine and Science, Atlanta, Georgia, March 2022
  • “Ethnological Afterlives: Race, Childbirth, and ‘Natural’ Postures in George Engelmann’s Labor Among Primitive Peoples,” co-presented, with Jenna Healey, at the American Association for the History of Medicine, May 2021
  • “‘Younger Than She Are Happy Mothers Made’: Precocious Maternity in the Nineteenth Century,” presented at the American Association for the History of Medicine, AAHM Ann Arbor 2.0, December 2020
  • “What the Archives Can’t Tell: Grief and Compassion in the Nineteenth-Century Medical Archive,” “Health, Care and the Emotions” Conference at the University of Roehampton, London, United Kingdom, September 2019
  • "A Calculus of Compassion: Life and Death in the Casebook of A. B. Holder," American Association for the History of Medicine, Columbus, Ohio, May 2019
  • “Phrenology on the Stand: Experiments in Medico-Legal Expertise in the United States, 1834-1865,” presented the American Society for Legal History, Houston, Texas, November 2018
  • “Civilizing Medicine: Race, Gender, and Sexuality in Theory and Practice on the Reservation,” presented at the History of Science Society, Seattle, Washington, November 2018
  • “A Desperate, Dangerously Shaped Head”: Profiling the Criminal in the Nineteenth Century,” presented at “Prejudice and Expertise: Discrimination in the West, 1850-2000” conference, Warwick, United Kingdom, March 2018
  • “The Casebook of A. B. Holder: Reconsidering the Country Physician and Everyday Medicine in the Reconstruction Era,” presented at the Southern Association for the History of Medicine and Science,” Augusta, Georgia, February 2018
  • “An Organ of Murder: Crime, Violence, and Phrenology in Nineteenth-century America,” lecture given at the New York Academy of Medicine, New York, August 2017
  • “The Profile Which Speaks: From the Anatomical to the Psychological in the History of Criminology,” presented at Cheiron: The International Society for the History of Behavioral & Social Sciences, Starkville, Mississippi, June 2017
  • “A Young Doctor’s Casebook: Race in Theory and Practice on the Reservation and in the Post-Reconstruction South, 1883-1893,” presented at the American Association for the History of Medicine, Nashville, Tennessee, May 2017
  • “The Curious Case of Chastine Cox: Medicine, Law, and Racial Politics in Gilded Age New York,” presented at the American Association for the History of Medicine, Minneapolis, Minnesota, April 2016
  • “A Sensation in New York: Murder, Race, and Medicine in the Gilded Age,” presented at the Organization of American Historians, Providence, Rhode Island, April 2016
  • “‘His Eye Passed Rapidly Over Them’: The Visual Regimes of Phrenology,” presented and workshopped at “Phrenology, Anthropometry, and Craniology: Historical and Global Perspectives,” conference at Clarkson University, Potsdam, New York, July 2015           
  • “Charcot’s Shadow: Désiré-Magloire Bourneville and the Rethinking of Great Men in the History of Neurology,” presented at Cheiron: The International Society for the History of Behavioral & Social Sciences, Lawrence, Kansas, June 2015    
  • “‘Directly at War with the Gallows’? The Prison and Phrenological Criminal Science,” presented at the History of Science Society, Chicago, Illinois, November 2014       
  • “‘An Unfit Subject for the Gallows’: Phrenology, Insanity, and Criminal Responsibility in America, 1830-1850,” presented at Cheiron: The International Society for the History of Behavioral & Social Sciences, Frederick, Maryland, June 2014
  • “The Murderer and the Phrenologist: Constructing Body Expertise in Nineteenth-Century Prisons and Courts,” presented at the History of Science Society, Boston, Massachusetts, November 2013       
  • "Of Calipers and Criminals: Translating Phrenological Technology and Techniques into late Nineteenth-century Criminal Science," presented at the Society for the History of Technology, Portland, Maine, October 2013     

“From Bête Noire to Bulldog: The Making of a Public Medical Debate in Third Republic France,” presented at the American Association for the History of Medicine, Atlanta, Georgia, May 2013

  • Book Review Editor, Journal of the History of Medicine and Allied Sciences, 2020—
  • NEH Summer Stipend, National Endowment for the Humanities, 2022
  • College of Arts & Sciences Outstanding Professor Award, MSU, 2020
  • Strategic Research Initiative Seed Funding, Mississippi State University, 2018
  • Audrey and William H. Helfand Fellowship in the History of Medicine and Public Health, New York Academy of Medicine, 2017
  • James and Sylvia Thayer Short-Term Fellowship, UCLA Library, UCLA, 2015
  • Cheiron Young Scholar Award, 2014
  • History of Medicine Travel Grant, David M. Rubenstein Rare Book and Manuscript Library, Duke University, 2014
  • Larry J. Hackman Research Residency, New York State Archives, 2013

 

  • HI 1003: The History of Science in Six Ideas
  • HI 3903: Historiography and Historical Methodological
  • HI 4273: Women in American History
  • HI 4293: History of Gender and Science
  • HI 4883: U.S. History of Medicine
  • HI 8803: Special Topics in: History of Women, Gender, and Sexuality; History of Medicine; Body Politics; History of Emotion; History of the Body
  • As Lecturer at Yale University: Cultural History of Mental Illness; History of the Body; Mental Illness and Crime in American Culture; Doctors and Patients in Western Medicine.
  • The American Association for the History of Medicine
  • Cheiron: The International Society for the History of Behavioral & Social Sciences
  • History of Science Society
  • Organization of American Historians
  • Society for the History of Technology