Emory School of Nursing Assistant Professor, Dr. Kylie Smith, receives grant for scholarly works from the National Library of Medicine

Woodruff Health Sciences Center | Nov. 12, 2019

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Kylie Smith

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The U.S. National Library of Medicine has awarded its Grant for Scholarly Works in Biomedicine and Health to Kylie Smith, PhD, assistant professor with Emory University’s Nell Hodgson Woodruff School of Nursing. The NLM G13 Scheme Grant Program provides funding of $150,000 toward research for book-length manuscripts. Intensely competitive, the Scheme Program makes only one award per year.

This prestigious award will provide funding for her new book, "Jim Crow in the Asylum: Psychiatry and Civil Rights in the American South." Her project looks at the impact of the Civil Rights Act on racist practices in psychiatric hospitals in Georgia, Alabama and Mississippi, and compares the reactions of these state governments to the mandate to integrate. In doing so, her work will reveal the horrific conditions that existed for African Americans in state asylums and make links between past practices and current disparities in mental health.

“What an exciting opportunity this grant provides Dr. Smith as well as the School of Nursing to further examine and learn from this important topic and time in history,” says Linda McCauley, PhD, RN, FAAN, FAAOHN, dean of the nursing school. “Kylie Smith is an internationally renowned nurse historian and prolific writer, having won awards for her studies. This award will allow her to travel to archives across Georgia, Alabama and Mississippi and to the Library of Congress and NAACP archives in Washington, D.C., to continue her research. We look forward to following her progress and supporting her efforts from home.”

Smith is the Andrew W. Mellon Faculty Fellow for Nursing and the Humanities and works with Emory’s School of Nursing, the Center for Ethics, the Center for Human Health and the College of Arts and Sciences to build collaborations between nursing and the liberal arts. She teaches history, ethics and critical theory in both the graduate and undergraduate programs, with a particular emphasis on the role of nurses in health care activism and social justice.

The NLM, operated by the U.S. federal government, is the world's largest medical library. Located in Bethesda, Maryland, the NLM is an institute within the National Institutes of Health. Smith’s final book will be published by UNC Press and will be publicly available as a digital humanities project which will include oral histories, photography and other audio/visual material designed to bring to life this neglected history.