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Healthcare Summit

Spelman College Healthcare Summit Speakers

Dalila de Sousa, Ph.D.

Dalila DeSousa-Sheppard
Moderator: Hey Sister, Do You Condom or Contract?

Dalila de Sousa has taught in the Department of History at Spelman College since 1990. She earned a bachelor’s in English and German and a master’s degree in English from the University of Coimbra in Portugal. Her Ph.D. dissertation addressed Darwinian Theory in Physicians’ Writings on Black Health in the US and Brazil in the post-abolition period.
Since then, she has continued to research the history of medicine and the health of Black populations in both countries, and has focused specifically on the role of Afro-Brazilian women in the delivery of healthcare to their communities.
Recently, de Sousa has shifted her attention to Portuguese physicians and their writings about the peoples in the colonies Portugal controlled in Africa. She conducted research with the support of a UNCF-Mellon Summer Faculty Residency at the Instituto de Higiene e Medicina Tropical in Lisbon in 2011. She is writing an article based on her preliminary reflections on Portuguese physicians’ role in constructing a racist and sexist discourse and praxis in the context of their country’s colony building in the African continent.
She provides talks at various academic conferences throughout Brazil on the topics of Black health in historical perspective as well as on the role of education in bringing about economic and social equity for Brazilians of African descent. She has worked with local Afro-Brazilian women’s NGOs to focus on raising community awareness on inequities in health and education. As a respected scholar with credentials from the former Metropole and as a member of United States academia, she is frequently asked to give TV and radio interviews to bring attention to the work of those community groups. A member of the American Association for the History of Medicine, de Sousa is also a member of the Brazilian Studies Association and served as a member of its executive council from 2002 to 2004.

She has served on the African Diaspora and the World Faculty Committee since its inception in 1993; the Comparative Women Studies Steering Committee (1998-present); the Curriculum Committee (2003-06). In fall 2011, de Sousa was appointed to The Undergraduate Research Initiative Work Group charged by the provost to develop rubrics for the capstone research experience being implemented as a requirement for all majors at Spelman College. In 2012, faculty elected her to serve as one of their representatives in the Faculty Council. She served as department chair from 2006 to 2009.