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Pandemics Past and Present: Situating COVID-19 in History

June 4, 2020 @ 7:00 pm - 8:00 pm

The Ethics of Now promo: Pandemics Past and Present: Situating COVID-19 in History - All Info Below

The Ethics of Now with Adriane Lentz-Smith continues from home with a series of brief, thoughtful and timely conversations about the ethical dilemmas of this historic moment. This week, join Professor Lentz-Smith and Director of the Trent Center for Bioethics, Humanities & History of Medicine Jeffrey Baker, MD for the conversation, “Pandemics Past and Present: Situating COVID-19 in History.” After registering, you will receive a confirmation email about joining the webinar.  Cosponsored by the Trent Center for Bioethics, Humanities & History of Medicine.

Thursday, June 4, 2020, 7pm

Register Now on Zoom


Dr. Jeffrey Baker, MD, PhD is director of the Trent Center for Bioethics, Humanities & History of Medicine. A professor of Pediatrics and History, he has practiced for over 25 years as a general pediatrician in Duke Children’s Primary Care with a focus on children with autism and special needs. Dr. Baker’s historical work has also centered on child health. As the author of the book, The Machine in the Nursery (Johns Hopkins University Press, 1996), he is a leading authority on the history of neonatal medicine. Dr. Baker co-edited a 75th year anniversary history of the American Academy of Pediatrics, and has written historical articles related to pediatrics and vaccination.   Most recently, he has been engaged in a project reconstructing the work of the “discoverer” of autism, Dr. Leo Kanner, through examining original case records from Johns Hopkins University.

Dr. Baker also has directed the History of Medicine program within the Trent Center since 2006. He teaches in all four years of the medical student curriculum. His has directed the Duke Autism Clinic, and continues to engage actively with the Duke Center for Autism and Brain Development as its primary care liaison. His past leadership positions in the Duke School of Arts and Sciences have included directing the AB Duke Scholarship program and medical humanities/social science course clusters within Duke’s Focus program for first-year students.

On the national level, Dr. Baker chairs the committee advising the Pediatric History Center at the American Academy of Pediatrics and edits a historical monthly feature in the journal Pediatrics. He is also active within the American Association of the History of Medicine, where he currently serves as co-chair of the Program Committee.


Adriane Lentz-Smith is Associate Professor in the Department of History at Duke University. Her interests lie in African American history, twentieth-century United States history, and the history of the U.S. and the world. Her 2009 book Freedom Struggles: African Americans and World War I looks at the black freedom struggle in the World War I years, with a particular focus on manhood, citizenship, and global encounters. More recently, she has been at work on a book tentatively entitled Afterlives: Sagon Penn, State Violence, and the Twilight of Civil Rights. The book looks at dramatic moments of violent encounters between African Americans and the police to explore the role of violence in sustaining and opposing white supremacy in the two decades following the passage of the 1965 Voting Rights Act. She is also interested in how African Americans engaged the world in the age of Cold War civil rights, and how their participation in the project of U.S. state and empire set the horizons of their freedom struggles.

The Ethics of Now is a series of conversations between Duke historian Adriane Lentz Smith and a range of artists, advocates, and authors that explore the ethical challenges facing the Durham and Duke communities.”


June 4, 2020
7:00 pm - 8:00 pm
Event Category:


Kenan Institute for Ethics
Trent Center for Bioethics, Humanities & History of Medicine