History of Pre-Modern Medicine seminar series, 2016–17

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The History of Pre-Modern Medicine seminar series returns this autumn.

The 2016–17 series – organised by a group of historians of medicine based at London universities and hosted by the Wellcome Library – will commence with four seminars in the autumn term.

The series will be focused on pre-modern medicine, which we take to cover European and extra-European history before the 20th century (antiquity, medieval and early modern history, some elements of 19th-century medicine). The seminars are open to all.

Image of medical practitioner.

The medical practitioner appearing as a mere human when he has succeeded in curing the sick. Engraving by Johann Gelle after E. van Panderen, [Antwerp?], [1609?]. Iconographic no. 23859i. Wellcome Images L0024950.


Tuesday 11 October 2016: Dr Erin Sullivan (University of Birmingham), ‘The melancholy earl: emotion, medicine and the body in 17th-century England’

Tuesday 25 October 2016: Professor Luke Demaitre (University of Virginia), ‘Disfiguring disease in medical and popular perceptions: “aspectus” and “spectaculum”’

Tuesday 8 November 2016: Dr Tara Alberts (University of York), ‘Miraculous medicines and exotic rituals: European healers in southeast Asian royal courts in the 17th century’

Tuesday 22 November 2016: Dr Elaine Leong (Max Planck Institute, Berlin), ‘Paper, medicine and everyday technologies in the early modern household’

All seminars will take place in the Wellcome Library, 183 Euston Road, London NW1 2BE. Doors at 6pm prompt, seminars will start at 6.15pm.

The programme for January–March 2017 will follow in the new year.

Organising Committee: Elma Brenner (Wellcome Library), Michael Brown (Roehampton), Elena Carrera (QMUL), Sandra Cavallo (RHUL), John Henderson (Birkbeck, London), William MacLehose (UCL, convenor), Anna Maerker (KCL), Patrick Wallis (LSE), Ronit Yoeli-Tlalim (Goldsmiths, convenor).

Enquiries to Ross MacFarlane (

Ross Macfarlane

Ross Macfarlane is the Research Engagement Officer at the Wellcome Library.

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