National Library of Medicine History Talk - Dr. Richard Mizelle, "The Many Faces of Diabetes: Complications and Debility in Late 20th Century America"

Kenneth Koyle's picture
February 2, 2023
Maryland, United States
Subject Fields: 
African American History / Studies, American History / Studies, Health and Health Care, History of Science, Medicine, and Technology, Race Studies

You are cordially invited to the next NLM History Talk— the 14th annual James H. Cassedy Lecture in the History of Medicine—“The Many Faces of Diabetes: Complications and Debility in Late 20th Century America,” to be held virtually this Thursday, February 2, at 2pm ET,

Join us to welcome our speaker Richard M. Mizelle, Jr, PhD, Associate Professor of History, University of Houston. 

Diabetes has played a key role in multiple twentieth century movements from the Progressive era to Black Lives Matter. Diabetes is also a window into the many complications of this chronic disease, including amputations, chronic kidney failure, disability, and the ramifications of racism as a public health threat. The many complications of diabetes reveal questions of structural inequality, environmental racism, and medical neglect that inform disease experience. Highlighting the use of some NLM historical collections and his broader work with the higher education modules of the NLM Traveling Exhibitions (, this talk uses diabetes as a window into the Civil Rights and Post-Civil Rights era to rethink the meaning of chronic disease and activism. Secondly, this talk highlights the dual epidemics of amputation and chronic kidney disease that reveal staggering inequalities in public health resources.     

Participate in the Q&A via the live feedback interface of the videocast.

Visit Circulating Now, the blog of the NLM History of Medicine Division at to read an interview with Dr. Mizelle.

This free program, like all NLM History Talks, will be live-streamed globally, closed-captioned live, and subsequently archived in the NIH Videocast archive of History of Medicine programs

NLM History Talks promote awareness and use of NLM and related historical collections for research, education, and public service in biomedicine, the social sciences, and the humanities. The series also supports the commitment of the NLM to recognize the diversity of its collections—which span ten centuries, encompass a range of digital and physical formats, and originate from nearly every part of the globe—and to foreground the voices of people of color, women, and individuals of a variety of cultural and disciplinary backgrounds who value these collections and use them to advance their research, teaching, and learning. Learn more at

Contact Info: 

Kenneth M. Koyle

Deputy Chief, History of Medicine Division

U.S. National Library of Medicine

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