Participant Info

First Name
Last Name
Emory University
Website URL
nursing history, history of psychiatry, critical theory, social justice, social medicine, civil rights, racism, mental health, incarceration
Additional Contact Information

Personal Info

About Me

I am Assistant Professor and the Andrew W. Mellon Faculty Fellow for Nursing and the Humanities in the Nell Hodgson Woodruff School of Nursing at Emory University in Atlanta. I am a  historian, not a nurse, but I love working with nurses as colleagues and students. I teach history, ethics and social justice to nurses, and undertake research on the history of psychiatry.

I was awarded a Bachelor of Arts (Honors) in English and History and a PhD in History from the University of Wollongong in Australia. Before coming to Emory, I worked in the School of Nursing at the University of Wollongong where I researched mental health nursing history and taught reflective practice. I have also worked in multicultural HIV/AIDS health promotion in Sydney, Australia and studied scriptwriting at the Australian Film Television and Radio School.

I am currently finishing a book called “Talking Therapy: Knowledge and Power in American Psychiatric Nursing” which will be published by Rutgers University Press in 2019.

I have also started research on a new project called “Jim Crow in the Asylum: Psychiatry and Civil Rights in the American South”. This book will explore racial segregation in the large state asylums in Georgia, Alabama and Mississippi, and will explore the impact of the Civil Rights Act on racism in psychiatry.

Recent Publications

Lewenson, S., Macallister A. and Smith K.M. (Editors) Nursing History for Contemporary Role Development, Springer Publishing, New York, 2016.

Foth, T., Lange, J, and Smith, K.M. (2018). Nursing History as Philosophy: Notes towards a Critical History of Nursing, Nursing Philosophy. Early access online

Smith, K. M. (2018 In press) “A Rather Straightforward Problem”: Psychiatry and Civil Rights in Alabama 1966-1972. Viral Networks Digital Humanities/History of Medicine Workshop. Virginia Tech, National Endowment for the Humanities, National Library of Medicine.

Smith, K. M. (2018) Different places, different ideas: Reimagining practice in American psychiatric nursing after WWII. Nursing History Review, Volume 26, 17-47

Smith, K. M. (2016) Recovery and reflection: The role of history in nursing education. Journal of Humanities in Rehabilitation, Issue IV, Fall. Available online at

Media Coverage
Country Focus
Expertise by Geography
Australia, United Kingdom, United States
Expertise by Chronology
5, 8
Expertise by Topic
Gender, Medicine, Race