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Bulletin of the History of Medicine
Future Publications

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TO APPEAR IN - upcoming issues of the Bulletin of the History of Medicine.

Positioning Paper
A Global Perspective: Reframing the History of Health, Medicine, and Disease

By: Mark Harrison
PDF (Posted October 1, 2015)

SUMMARY: The emergence of global history has been one of the more notable features of academic history over the past three decades. Although historians of disease were among the pioneers of one of its earlier incarnations—world history—the recent “global turn” has made relatively little impact on histories of health, disease, and medicine. Most continue to be framed by familiar entities such as the colony or nation-state or are confined to particular medical “traditions.” This article aims to show what can be gained from taking a broader perspective. Its purpose is not to replace other ways of seeing or to write a new “grand narrative” but to show how transnational and transimperial approaches are vital to understanding some of the key issues with which historians of health, disease, and medicine are concerned. Moving on from an analysis of earlier periods of integration, the article offers some reflections on our own era of globalization and on the emerging field of global health.
KEYWORDS: globalization, imperialism, modernity, global health

Positioning Paper Comment
Bioscapes: Gendering the Global History of Medicine

By: Alison Bashford
PDF (Posted October 8, 2015)

Positioning Paper Comment
Harrison, Globalization, and the History of Health, Medicine, and Disease

By: J. R. McNeill
PDF (Posted October 8, 2015)

In Search of an Audience: Popular Pharmacies and the Limits of Literate Medicine in Late Seventeenth- and Early Eighteenth-Century Russia
By: Clare Griffin
PDF (Posted October 8, 2015)

SUMMARY: This article addresses the question of the limits of literate medicine in Europe, through an examination of the Russian literate medical world of the late seventeenth and early eighteenth centuries. Russian courtly medicine had been dominated by Western Europeans from the 1480s, but in the early eighteenth century new licensing arrangements solidified the presence of these foreigners in the wider Russian medical world. Foreign medical practitioners took advantage of this development, aiming works at an increasingly large proportion of Russian literate society. These works, along with satirical and religious works emulating or deriding medical texts, show how by the 1720s the limits of literate medicine in Russia lay not at the edges of official court medicine, but rather at the edges of literate society.
KEYWORDS: Russia, early modern, medical books, literacy

“Of Grand Intentions” and “Opaque Structures”: Managing the Hospício Pedro II during Brazil’s Second Empire (1852–90)
By: Manuella Meyer
PDF (Posted October 8, 2015)

SUMMARY: This article chronicles contestations between religious actors, represented by the Brazilian Santa Casa de Misericórdia Catholic lay brotherhood and the French nun order, the Daughters of Charity, on one hand, and emergent psychiatrists, on the other, over the governance of the Hospício Pedro II, Brazil’s first public asylum. It investigates how psychiatrists, as apostles of professional rationality, developed their ideas about reason and bureaucratic power in a contested site of religious charity during Brazil’s Second Empire (1852–90). Apart from sharing ideological ground about the need to seclude the insane in the asylum, I argue that these groups brought divergent and entangled epistemologies about the constructions of madness, its treatment, and its bureaucratic governance.
KEYWORDS: history of psychiatry, history of the asylum, lay brotherhood, Brazil

Speaking Secrets: Epilepsy, Neurosurgery, and Patient Testimony in the Age of the Explorable Brain, 1934–1960
By: Rachel Elder
PDF (Posted October 8, 2015)

SUMMARY: This article examines the role of Wilder Penfield’s patients in early neurosurgeries for epilepsy at the Montreal Neurological Institute from the 1930s to 1950s. Shifting the focus from scientific discoveries that emerged as a result of Penfield’s unprecedented “exploration” of the brain, this piece considers how patients contributed to the creation of such knowledge through their spoken feedback, both within and beyond the operating room. Correspondingly, it examines the personal and social contexts under which patients elected for surgery. Tracing an underexplored social history of Penfield’s patients through more than sixty clinical records, it suggests that making knowledge about the brain was a multidirectional process in which patients meaningfully participated, and in which their experiences of epilepsy and motivations for surgery were significant.
KEYWORDS: epilepsy, patients, neurosurgery, Wilder Penfield, Montreal Neurological Institute, localization, seizures, language, surgical subjects

Bulletin of the History of Medicine

Bulletin of the History of Medicine is the official journal of the American Association for the History of Medicine.

Volume: 89 (2015)
Frequency: Quarterly
Print ISSN: 0007-5140
Online ISSN: 1086-3176