Natalie Shibley

Visiting Assistant Professor of Science and Society

Allbritton Center, 219

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BA Columbia University
MA University of Pennsylvania
PHD University of Pennsylvania

Natalie Shibley

Natalie Shibley is a Visiting Assistant Professor of Science in Society. She joins Wesleyan from the University of Pennsylvania, where she was a Postdoctoral Fellow in the Program on Race, Science, and Society. Dr. Shibley is working on a manuscript about race, homosexuality investigations, and notions of disease in the U.S. military from the 1940s to 1990s. Her research has been supported by the William Nelson Cromwell Foundation, the U.S. Army Military History Institute, Cornell University Library's Phil Zwickler Memorial Grant, and the University of Pennsylvania Gender, Sexuality, and Women’s Studies program, among other sources. Her paper, “‘Not fit material for anyone to print’: Race, Respectability, and Military Homosexuality Investigations, 1945-1950,” won the 2018 Du Bois-Wells Graduate Student Paper Prize from the African American Intellectual History Society. She is also working with Dorothy Roberts and Eram Alam on an edited volume, Ordering the Human: Global Science and Racial Reason. She teaches courses in the history of science and medicine, African American history, and the history of gender and sexuality. You can read here about her course "Race, Gender, and Medicine in U.S. History." Dr. Shibley is currently on the Governing Board of the Committee on LGBT History, an affiliate society of the American Historical Association. She is the creator of Medicine at War: A Digital History Project, which traces the involvement of U.S. health professionals in World War II.

Dr. Shibley was previously an Affiliate Postdoctoral Fellow of the Penn Medicine and the Afterlives of Slavery project and co-organized a major university symposium, "Penn and Slavery," in 2019.  She has also been a member of the New-York Historical Society Center for Women’s History Early Career Workshop, and she participated in an NEH Summer Institute, “Digital Methods for Military History.”  In July 2020, Shibley discovered a poem by the Black Arts Movement poet Dudley Randall that scholars had not previously seen. You can read about the process of finding the poem in the Detroit News and in the Wesleyan University Magazine online

Dr. Shibley earned a PhD from the University of Pennsylvania, where she was the first recipient of a joint doctoral degree in Africana Studies and History. She also earned an MA from Penn and a BA from Columbia University.


Public Scholarship:

"The Forgotten Women of the Antibiotics Race," Lady Science, July 22, 2021

"Racism Has Long Undermined Military Cohesion, Just as Gen. Milley Testified," Made by History series of the Washington Post, June 29, 2021

"It Just Wasn't a Good Fit," Nursing Clio, November 12, 2020

"Psychiatry and Homosexuality Draft Exemptions during the Vietnam War," Nursing Clio, August 4, 2020

"Race, Medicine, and the Origins of American Psychiatry," Black Perspectives, September 8, 2020

"Black Women in the Army during World War II," Black Perspectives, October 17, 2018



Academic Affiliations

Office Hours

Wednesdays from 3:00-4:30 PM or by appointment


Fall 2021
SISP 127F - 01
War and Technology (FYS)

SISP 127F - 02
War and Technology (FYS)

SISP 243 - 01
Commodities and Addiction

Spring 2022
SISP 236 - 01
Race, Gender, and Medicine

SISP 317 - 01
Sexuality, Gender, and Science