Shelby Pumphrey

Assistant Professor


As an interdisciplinary scholar of Africana Studies, Women's Studies and History, Dr. Pumphrey's work focuses primarily on questions of race, gender and mental illness, but especially on Africana peoples' experiences with institutional mental healthcare in the United States during the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. She earned a dual PhD in African American and African Studies (AAAS) and History from Michigan State University. Her current project focuses on the nation's first mental hospital established exclusively for the care of African Americans, Central Lunatic Asylum for the Colored Insane, with particular emphasis on Africana women and involuntary commitment during the final decades of the nineteenth century.