Kimberly Hamlin honored with Margaret W. Rossiter History of Women in Science Prize

Kimberly Hamlin

Kimberly Hamlin

Kimberly Hamlin, associate professor of American studies and history, was awarded the Margaret W. Rossiter History of Women in Science Prize for her article “The ‘Case of a Bearded Woman’: Hypertrichosis and the Construction of Gender in the Age of Darwin” (American Quarterly, December 2011). The article was recognized by the History of Science Society (HSS) as an outstanding article on the role of women in science.

Hamlin’s article compares the medical discussions and treatments of hypertrichosis (superfluous hair in women), considered an epidemic from the 1870s to the 1910s, with the concurrent popular fascination with bearded ladies in the circus. The HSS praised her research for “clearly demonstrat[ing] the interplay of the scientific and the social and the importance of studying popular scientific beliefs in cultural context.”

“I was deeply honored to receive the Margaret Rossiter Prize and even more excited by the HSS’s enthusiasm for interdisciplinary scholarship and the importance of putting science and culture in conversation,” said Hamlin.

The award, named after Margaret W. Rossiter for her pioneering contributions to the history of women in science, was announced during a prize ceremony on Nov. 8, in Chicago. Articles published during four years immediately preceding the year of competition are eligible.

The HSS is dedicated to understanding science, technology, medicine and their interactions with society in historical context and has more than 3,000 individual and institutional members.  At the 2014 meeting, Hamlin was also elected co-chair of the HSS Women’s Caucus.  She is also director of Miami’s American studies program and co-chairs the university’s gender, science and technology working group.