After this course a student:
is familiar with the many dimensions of the historical and historiographical transformation of the western medical tradition;
has developed a capability to critically analyse primary and secondary sources;
can interpret them and report on them in a consistent narrative.
Period (from – till): February 2018 - April 2018
Prof. dr. F.G. Huisman, Julius Centre UMC Utrecht
This is a nine-week course that is part of the Research Master History and Philosophy of Science, offered by the Descartes Centre for the History and Philosophy of the Sciences and the Humanities. In principle, it is open to all MA students of the Graduate School of the Life Sciences.
Modern biomedical science and modern medicine originated - both epistemologically and institutionally – in the period between 1850 and 1950. The epoch not only witnessed the birth of the modern hospital and the laboratory, but there was a growing awareness that the state had an important role to play in public health as well. Taken together, the hospital, the laboratory and the caring state can be considered as the symbols of modernity.
Over the course of time, the medical scientist and the clinician have become valuable citizens, who transformed our health care system profoundly. At the same time, scientific progress has come with problems and drawbacks. In order to understand modern medicine and health care, it makes sense to take a look at its historical roots.
This course is an introduction to the birth of modern medicine, looking at developments over the course of the ‘long nineteenth century’. After an introduction of five weeks, you are expected to choose a topic that particularly interests you and write a paper about it. Topics may be chosen from any period between Classical Antiquity and contemporary biomedicine.
You will find out that history is not about presenting dry facts about the past, but rather about reflecting the human condition. Medical history is thinking about the ways in which man is dealing with health and illness, with pain and death – both in the past and in the present.
Literature/study material used:
- W.F. Bynum, Science and the practice of medicine in the nineteenth century (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1994).
- M. Jackson ed., The Oxford handbook of the history of medicine (Oxford: Oxford university press, 2011):
* R. Cooter, ‘Medicine and modernity’ (pp. 100-116)
* H.J. Cook, ‘Medicine in western Europe’ (pp. 190-207)
* M. Gorsky, ‘The political economy of health care’ (pp. 429-449)
* R. Bivins, ‘Histories of heterodoxy’ (pp. 578-597)
- Chr. Hamlin, Cholera: the biography (Oxford UP, 2009).
Please register via the study guide.
Mandatory for students in own Master’s programme:
Optional for students in other GSLS Master’s programme:
This course is an elective course for all Master’s student of the Graduate School of Life Sciences. It is open to all students enrolled in the Research Master History and Philosophy of Science.
Bachelor’s degree and admission granted to a GSLS Master’s programme or Research Master History and Philosophy of Science.