Dana Landress

Position title: Assistant Professor of Medical History and Bioethics

Email: landress@wisc.edu

Phone: 608.262.6430

Office: Room 1411, Medical Sciences Center
Office Hours: TBA
Joint Appointment: Medical History & Bioethics

Dana Landress headhsot


I am a historian of 19th and 20th century medicine and public health in the United States. My research examines the relationship between nutritional disease, community health work, and the political economy of capitalism in the U.S. South. Methodologically, my research blends the approaches and insights of social history, labor history, and oral history. I am especially interested in histories of structural racism, economic inequality, and community health activism as they pertain to patient encounters with medicine and public health. Additionally, I study histories of southern foodways, diasporic culinary traditions, and medicinal remedies of the rural South. Currently, I am at work on two projects. The first is a multidisciplinary collaboration with scholars, activists, and health providers to document community healthcare work in the wake of Covid-19. The second is a book project detailing the history of pellagra in the U.S. South.


Ph.D., University of California, Berkeley
M.A., University of California, Berkeley
B.A., University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

Selected Presentations and Publications

  • “Disaster, Disease, and Disarray: Public Health Programming and the 1927 Delta Flood,” Conference Paper, Southern Association for the History of Medicine Conference, Emory University Center for Healthcare Policy (Atlanta, Georgia, 2023)
  • Carla Cevasco, Violent Appetites: Hunger in the Early Northeast (Yale UP, 2022). Book review in Gastronomica: The Journal for Food Studies, University of California Press (2023)
  • “Defending the Health of the People: Regional Health Reporting in the Chicago Defender” in Historical Perspectives on Black Health and Community Care (under contract) (Vanderbilt University Press)
  • “Pellagra and Women’s Public Health Work in the Segregated South,” American Association for the History of Medicine Annual Meeting (virtually convened, May, 2020)

Selected Awards

  • American Association of University Women Fellowship, 2021-2022
  • Andrew W. Mellon and Council on Library and Information Resources Fellowship, 2019-2020
  • Louise Gloeckner Fellowship for the History of Women in Medicine, 2020
  • Reynolds Finley Dissertation Fellowship for Research in the History of Medicine, 2020
  • U.C. Berkeley School of Public Health Research Award, 2019
  • Southern Historical Collection Dissertation Research Fellowship, 2019
  • UC Berkeley Graduate Division, Outstanding Graduate Student Instructor Award, 2018
  • National Science Foundation Research Grant, 2018

History Courses Taught

  • History of Science 360 – Health Inequalities in the Long 20th Century
  • History of Science/MedHist 509 – The Development of Public Health in America – Syllabus 2023 (pdf)