Director of the Program in African American History

Jim Downs is the Gilder Lehrman-National Endowment for the Humanities Professor of Civil War Era Studies and History at Gettysburg College. He is the author of Maladies of Empire: How Colonialism, Slavery, and War Transformed Medicine (Harvard UP, 2021), which has been translated into Chinese, French, Japanese, Korean, and Russian. His other books include Sick from Freedom: African American Sickness and Suffering during the Civil War and Reconstruction (Oxford UP, 2012) and Stand by Me: The Forgotten History of Gay Liberation (Basic Books, 2016). He has also edited seven anthologies. He has published essays in The Atlantic, The New Yorker, The Washington Post, The New York Times, Vice, SlateThe Lancet, LA Times, among others. He is also the editor of Civil War History. In 2023, he was elected to the Society for American Historians in the US, the Royal Historical Society in the UK, and the Executive Board of the Southern Historical Association.