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Faculty and Staff Biography

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Dennis Doyle

Associate Professor, History
Liberal Arts


Ph.D.: History, Stony Brook University (2006)

BA: Eastern Connecticut State University (1997)


20th Century US history of medicine and psychiatry with a focus on African Americans, health disparities, and popular culture

Current Research

For the bulk of his career, Doyle has studied the history of psychiatry and its engagement with race in civil rights era Harlem. Since 2009, he's published six articles on mental health care in Harlem and a 2016 book on liberal policy efforts to expand health care for African Americans in New York City. Since 2013, he and Bob Zebroski also researched the history of the St. Louis College of Pharmacy, preparing a book-length manuscript for future publication. In his forthcoming work, Doyle examines Dr. Fredric Wertham's postwar anti-comics crusade, community psychiatry pioneer Dr. Viola Bernard's earliest consulting work with the Community Service Society of New York, and acclaimed science fiction writer Samuel R. Delany's chilldhood encounter with psychiatry in Harlem of the 1950s. He has also started a new book-length project investigating the the previous century's habit of reinterpreting William Shakespeare's works through the lens of Freud and psychodynamic theory.

Current Courses, Activities, and Scholarly Interest

Global Heritage III (covers the development of modernity in world history)

Illness, Identity, and Inequality in US History (covers the history of marginalized groups' experience with health care in the US)

Vita Highlights

Co-advisor for the Black Student Alliance, Alpha Zeta Omega fraternity, and Jazz Club

Last college-wide winner of the Joe E. Haberle Outstanding Educator Award, 2015

co-editor, book reviews section, History of Pschiatry

Most recent publications:

Psychiatry and Racial Liberalism in Harlem, 1936-1968. New York: University of Rochester Press, 2016.

"Slums, Race, and Mental Health in Postwar New York City." Palgrave Communications 4 (2018): 1-11.

" 'We Didn't Know You Were a Negro': Fredric Wertham and the Ironies of Race, Comic Books and Juvenile Delinquency in the 1950s." Journal of Social History (Advance publication, April 12, 2017).

"Black Celebrities, Selfhood, and Psychiatry in the Civil Rights Era: the Wiltwyck School for Boys and the Floyd Patterson House." Social History of Medicine 28 (May 2015): 330-350.


Dr. Doyle and his wife have one son. They also have a dog that is part border collie, blue heeler, and Bavarian mountain hound.

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