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Introductory Session (Elise Smith)

Over the past few decades, historians of medicine have regularly taken stock of the field through the medium of the edited volume. This week begins with a trawl through some of the most high-profile recent edited collections (plus one more). Please peruse each of the volumes listed below (available as ebooks via Warwick Library). Have a look at their introductions and the chapter in each that is most closely related to your own research interests.

  • William Bynum and Roy Porter (eds), Companion Encyclopedia of the History of Medicine, Vols 1 & 2 (London: Routledge, 1993)
  • Roger Cooter and John Pickstone (eds), Medicine in the Twentieth Century (Amsterdam: Harwood, 2000)
  • Frank Huisman and John Harley Warner (eds), Locating Medical History: The Stories and their Meanings (Baltimore: Johns Hopkins Press, 2004) (copies in library and e-book, available in CHM Library)
  • Mark Jackson (ed), Oxford Handbook of the History of Medicine (Oxford: OUP, 2011)
  • Fielding Garrison, An Introduction to the History of Medicine (1913) (accessible online here: [search by author's name and select this volume])

Come to seminar ready to answer the following questions:

  • What do these volumes have in common?
  • What are their important differences?
  • Why did their editors find it timely to produce them?
  • What are the differences in 'your' chapter/chapters across the texts?
  • What does this tell us about the field and how it has changed over time?

For substantial extra credit (!), also peruse the on-line (or paper) tables of contents of the following journals: Social History of Medicine, Bulletin of the History of Medicine and Medical History. When did these journals begin? How have they changed? How do they differ from one another?