Spotlight on Douglas M. Haynes
Historian leads campus-wide inclusion efforts and Center for Medical Humanities
Defying stereotypes, he devoured “Masterpiece Theatre” and the debates on conservative icon William F. Buckley Jr.’s “Firing Line” television show as a youth, delivered newspapers to future senator Dianne Feinstein as a teen, and confounded college classmates by studying the history of white Europeans. Whenever anyone asked Douglas M. Haynes why an African American would want to specialize in Anglo yesteryears, he replied that it was simply the flip side of white historians focusing on blacks. At UCI, Haynes has largely continued down that path. As a professor of history, he has published two books about the origins of British medicine while teaching European history. He also serves as UCI's vice provost for academic equity, diversity & inclusion. But lately, another project has been tugging at his heart. On a shelf in his office, Haynes keeps a 1968 photo of his first-grade class. He hopes to someday locate the instructor, an Asian American woman he praises for “creating a supportive learning environment for a wonderfully diverse group of kids as San Francisco was coming apart.” Her story, Haynes says, could offer a window into the city’s pre-liberal past. “She was the only teacher of color I remember at the school,” he says. “I’d like to write a book about her.”
Combining his passion for medical history, inclusion and the humanities, Haynes also leads UCI's newly formed Center for Medical Humanities.
Favorite bucket-list travel destinations:
Beijing-Hangzhou Grand Canal