You should plan to do each reading BEFORE class, as they provide an excellent overview of the lecture material. Lectures will make much more sense if you’ve spent some time with the readings ahead of time. In any case, you are responsible for incorporating all relevant material in your submitted work.

1: Introductions

  • M: Introduction to the course, syllabus, and expectations
  • W: Medicine in the Greek World: WMT, 11-31; 35-38. Hippocrates: Epidemics, Prognosis, Airs, Waters, Places, Aphorisms

2: Classical Science and Medicine

  • M: Intro to Galen: WMT, 58-70.
  • W: Galen: Galen: On Food and Diet (skim 1-5; 6-13); On the Humours (14-18); On the Causes of Disease, 46-61; On the Powers of Foods, 68-89 (skim for flavor). All these are contained in the PDF under Galen: On Food and Diet.

3: Medieval I

  • M: Peregrine Horden, “What’s Wrong with Early Medieval Medicine?,” Social History of Medicine (2009).
  • W: Faith Wallis, “Signs and Senses: Diagnosis and Prognosis in Early Medieval Pulse and Urine Texts,” Social History of Medicine 13, no. 2 (2000): 265–78; Excerpts of common medical advice, 34-42; 49-54.
  • M: Linda E. Voigts, “Anglo-Saxon Plant Remedies and the Anglo-Saxons,” Isis 70, no. 2 (1979): 250–68; “Anglo-Saxon Medicine Is Able to Kill Modern-Day Superbug, Researchers Find.”
  • W: Michael McVaugh, “Surgical Education in the Middle Ages,” Dynamis 20 (2000): 283–304.

4: Medieval II

  • M: Jon Arrizabalaga, “Facing the Black Death: Perceptions and Reactions of University Medical Practitioners,” in Practical Medicine from Salerno to the Black Death (Cambridge University Press, 1989), 237–88.
  • W: Selections from medieval accounts of the Black Death. Look at the Horrox reading in Zotero; skim the introduction PDF; read more carefully the explanations PDF.
  • M: WMT, 93-110.
  • W: WMT, 110-138.

5: Renaissance Science

Galelio, Kepler, Newton

Renaissance Medicine

  • M: Anatomy: WMT: 264-292.
  • W: Botany: WMT, 298-310.


8: Exploration and Colonization

  • M: David Igler “Disease, Sex, and Indigenous Depopulation,” The Great Ocean: Pacific Worlds From Captain Cook to the Gold Rush (New York: Oxford University Press, 2013) 43-72.
  • W: Cotton Mather, “Proselytizes for Smallpox Inoculation,” 1722 and William Douglas, “Decries the Dangerous Infatuation with Smallpox Inoculation,” 1722

9: Clinical models

  • M: Early 18c hospitals
  • W: Dora B. Weiner and Michael J. Sauter, “The City of Paris and the Rise of Clinical Medicine,” Osiris 18 (2003): 23-42


10: Health Geography

  • M: Edwin Chadwick, Report on the Sanitary Condition of the Labouring Population of Great Britain, 1842
  • W: John Snow, “On the Origin of the Recent Outbreak of Cholera at West Ham,” British Medical Journal 2, no. 45 (1857): 934-935

11: Surgery

  • M: Reginald Magee, “Surgery in the Pre-Anaesthetic Era: The Life and Work of Robert Liston,” Health and History 2, no. 1 (2000): 121-133
  • W: Michael Worboys, “Joseph Lister and the Performance of Antiseptic Surgery,” Notes and Records of the Royal Society of London 67, no. 3 (2013): 199-209

Physiology, Digestion, Nutrition

12: Germ Theory

  • M: Andrew Cunningham, “Transforming Plague: The Laboratory and the Identity of Infectious Disease,” The Laboratory Revolution in Medicine
  • W: J. Andrew Mendelsohn, “The Microscopist of Modern Life,” Osiris 18 (2003): 150-170 Hygiene technology

13: Quantifying the Body

  • M: Volker Hess, “Standardizing Body Temperature: Quantification in Hospitals and Daily Life, 1850-1900,” Body Counts: Medical Quantification in Historical and Sociological Perspectives, Jorland, Opinel, and Weisz eds. (McGill-Queen’s University Press, 2005)
  • W: Amanda Dzerniawski, “From Average to Ideal: The Evolution of the Height and Weight Table in the United States, 1836-1943,” Social Science History 31, no. 2 (2007): 273-296


14: Cyborg Bodies

  • M: David Serlin, “The Other Arms Race,” Replaceable You: Engineering the Body in Postwar America (Chicago University Press, 2004), 21-56
  • W: Bettyann Kevles, “The Perfect Slice: The Story of CT Scanning,” Naked to the Bone: Medical Imaging in the Twentieth Century (Rutgers University Press, 1997), 145-173

15: Pharamaceuticals

  • M: Robert Bud, “From Germophobia to the Carefree Life and Back Again: The Lifecycle of the Antibiotic Brand,” Medicating Modern America: Prescription Drugs in History, Andrea Tone and Elizabeth Siegel Watkins eds. (New York University Press, 2007), 17-41.
  • W: Elizabeth Watkins, “The Social Construction of a Contraceptive Technology: An Investigation of the Meaning of Norplant,” Science, Technology, and Human Values 36, no.1 (2011): 33-54.

16: Conclusions

  • M: Comprehensive article assessment
  • W: Course conclusions
  • F: Evaluations