Working Groups

Medicine and Health

The History of Medicine and Health Working Group meets monthly to discuss a colleague’s work in progress or to discuss readings that are of particular interest to participants.

Meetings are usually held from 3:30 to 5:00 on first Fridays.

Scholars can participate online, or at the Consortium offices in Philadelphia, 431 Chestnut Street, Philadelphia, PA 19106, or at the New York Academy of Medicine, 1216 Fifth Avenue (@ 103rd Street), New York, NY 10029.

To join this working group, click "Request group membership" at right. You will receive instructions for participating online or in person.

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    David Barnes

    David Barnes teaches history of medicine and public health at UPenn. His interests include history of medicine and public health, cultural history of bodily knowledge, and bodily practices.


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    Paul Theerman

    Paul Theerman is Director of the Center for the History of Medicine and Public Health at the New York Academy of Medicine.


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    Nancy Tomes

    Nancy Tomes is Distinguished Professor of History at Stony Brook University. Her research interests include U.S. social and cultural history and the history of medicine, women, and gender. (On leave as convener for 2020-21.)


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    Keith Wailoo

    Keith Andrew Wailoo is Townsend Martin Professor of History and Public Affairs at Princeton University. His research and teaching interests include the history and cultural politics of disease; drugs and drug policy; race, science, and health; and health policy and medical affairs in the U.S.


Upcoming Meetings (all times Eastern)

  • Friday, October 2, 2020 - 3:30pm to 5:00pm

    Haejoo Kim, Syracuse University, "Medical Liberty in Nineteenth-Century Anti-Vaccination Rhetoric." Comment by Pamela K. Gilbert, University of Florida.


  • Friday, November 6, 2020 - 3:30pm to 5:00pm

    Kelly O’Donnell, NEH Postdoctoral Fellow, CHSTM, “‘Public Relations in Action’: Doctors’ Wives and the Fight Against Socialized Medicine, 1924–1965.” Commentary by Naomi Rogers, Yale University.

  • Friday, December 4, 2020 - 3:30pm to 5:00pm


  • Friday, February 5, 2021 - 3:30pm to 5:00pm


  • Friday, March 5, 2021 - 3:30pm to 5:00pm


  • Friday, April 2, 2021 - 3:30pm to 5:00pm


Past Meetings

  • April 3, 2020

    Mary Fissell, Johns Hopkins University, will share drafts of the introduction and Chapter 2 of a book in progress about Aristotle’s Masterpiece, now tentatively titled Before Sex Ed.
    Lauren Kassell,  Professor of the History of Science and Medicine, University of Cambridge, will provide the comment.

  • March 6, 2020

    Paul Kelton, Stony Brook University.  "Buried: the Hidden Terror of Cholera in Jackson's America, 1832-1836." 
    Comment by Charles E. Rosenberg

  • February 7, 2020

    Ian Burney, Manchester University.  "Staging Innocence: The Origins of the Court of Last Resort and the Imaginative Landscapes of Frontier Justice."
    Comment by Christopher Hamlin, University of Notre Dame. 

  • December 6, 2019

    Emily Webster, University of Chicago, on "A Plague on the Land, on the Sea, and in the Sewers: Ecologies of Yersinia pestis in Bombay City, 1890-1914." Response by Lucas Mueller, University of Geneva.

  • November 1, 2019

    *Please note this meeting has been canceled. We hope to reschedule at a later date.*
    Elise Mitchell, New York University, speaking on "Smallpox Inoculation, Slavery, and Kinship in the Atlantic World." 

  • October 4, 2019

    Sarah Naramore, Sewanee: The University of the South, presents a chapter from her dissertation on Benjamin Rush, on the way that the distinctive American climate and geography called forth a uniquely American medicine.

  • April 12, 2019

    Wangui Muigai, Brandeis University, “'Something Wasn’t Clean': Black Midwifery, Birth, and Postwar Medical Education in All My Babies."
    Comment: Leslie Reagan, University of Illinois at Champaign Urbana

  • March 8, 2019

    Janet Golden, Professor of History, Rutgers University-Camden.
    "'Normal Enough': Paula Patton, Intellectually Disabled Immigrant Children, and the 1924 Immigration Act."
     Comment by Jaipreet Virdi, Assistant Professor of History, University of Delaware. 

  • November 16, 2018

    Julie Powell, Ohio State University, on "The Labor Army of Tomorrow: Masculinity and the Internationalization of Veterans’ Rehabilitation, 1914-1924." Comment by the work group.

  • October 19, 2018

    Catherine Cox and Hilary Marland, 'The Making of the Modern Prison System: Reformation, Separation and the Mind, 1840-1860'.
    Comment by James Moran, University of Prince Edward Island.

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