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Cursus: BMB507812
History of Medicine
Cursus informatie
Studiepunten (ECTS)7,5
Categorie / NiveauM (M (Master))
CursustypeCursorisch onderwijs
Aangeboden doorFaculteit Geneeskunde; Graduate School of Life Sciences; Graduate School of Life Sciences, fac. GNK;
Contactpersoonprof. dr. F.G. Huisman
Contactpersoon van de cursus
prof. dr. F.G. Huisman
Overige cursussen docent
BMS_P4_A  (24-04-2023 t/m 02-07-2023)
Timeslot-: Geen timeslot van toepassing
Opmerking24 April - 30 June 2023. Registration via Osiris student. Max 15 participants.
Cursusinschrijving geopendvanaf 30-01-2023 t/m 26-02-2023
Aanmeldingsprocedureadministratie onderwijsinstituut
ToelichtingJe wordt ingeschreven voor deze cursus door de administratie van de opleiding van de cursus.
Inschrijven via OSIRISJa
Inschrijven voor bijvakkersJa
Na-inschrijving geopendvanaf 03-04-2023 t/m 04-04-2023
Plaatsingsprocedureadministratie onderwijsinstituut
After this course a student:
  1. is familiar with the many dimensions of the historical and historiographical transformation of the western medical tradition;
  2. has developed a capability to critically analyse primary and secondary sources;
  3. can interpret them and report on them in a consistent narrative.
Period (from – till): 24 April 2023 -  30 June 2023
Locations in the schedule are yet to be determined.

Prof. dr. F.G. Huisman, Julius Centre UMC Utrecht

Course description:
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.

The full description can be downloaded here.

Literature/study material used:
- K. Codell Carter, The rise of causal concepts of disease (Aldershot: Ashgate, 2003), vii-ix and 1-9
- Ch. Rosenberg and J. Golden eds., Framing disease. Studies in cultural history (Rutgers UP, 1992). xii-xxvi.
- D. Wootton, Bad medicine. Doctors doing harm since Hippocrates (Oxford University Press, 2006), 1-26.
- S. Shapin, ‘Possessed by idols’, London review of books, 30 november 2006. See (including Wootton’s response).
- 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).

To be announced

During the first part of the course, students are expected to send (each week) three observations and three questions, based on the readings, by email to the others (no later than 5 pm, the day before the next session). During sessions, the pre-circulated questions and observations will be discussed.
During the second part of the course, everybody presents his or her work in progress. Every week, you are expected to email a one page outline to the others no later than 5 pm the day before the next session. During those sessions, students are taking turns in giving an oral presentation of half an hour (also including discussion).
Time and location
To be announced

The maximum number of participants is 15. Please register via Osiris Student in Period 4 (Please note that this is a small exception in regards to start dates and corresponding Period. Use starting block BMS P4 A). More information can be found here in 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.

Prerequisite knowledge:
Bachelor’s degree and admission granted to a GSLS Master’s programme or Research Master History and Philosophy of Science.
Bachelors degree and admission granted to Masters program
Verplicht materiaal
Discussie college


Individuele opdracht





Minimum cijfer5,5

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