Working Groups

Medicine and Health

The History of Medicine and Health Working Group meets monthly to discuss a colleague’s work in progress or to discuss readings that are of particular interest to participants. Meetings are usually held from 3:30 to 5:00 on third Fridays.

Scholars can participate online, or at the Consortium offices in Philadelphia, 431 Chestnut Street, Philadelphia, PA 19106, or at the New York Academy of Medicine, 1216 Fifth Avenue (@ 103rd Street), New York, NY 10029.

  • Paul Theerman

    Paul Theerman is Associate Director of the Center for the History of Medicine and Public Health at the New York Academy of Medicine. He manages the Center's collections and participates in programming and outreach efforts.


  • Nancy Tomes

    Nancy Tomes is Distinguished Professor of History at Stony Brook University. Her research interests include U.S. social and cultural history and the history of medicine, women, and gender.


  • Keith Wailoo

    Keith Andrew Wailoo is Townsend Martin Professor of History and Public Affairs at Princeton University. His research and teaching interests include the history and cultural politics of disease; drugs and drug policy; race, science, and health; and health policy and medical affairs in the U.S.


Upcoming Meetings

  • October 20, 2017

    Tamara Venit-Shelton (Claremont McKenna College): “Herbs and Roots Only: Toward an Environmental History of Chinese Medicine in the United States.”

  • November 17, 2017

    Daniel Goldberg (University of Denver): “‘The Evidence of the Lost Eye was so Palpable’: The Testimonial Significance of Visible Disabilities in Civil War Veterans’ Encounters with the North Carolina Pension Act of 1885”

  • January 19, 2018


  • February 16, 2018


  • March 16, 2018


  • April 20, 2018


Past Meetings

  • September 15, 2017

    Averyl Gaylor (La Trobe University in Melbourne): “Dance and Operational Bodily Encounters in Twentieth-Century Australia.” On the interplay between modern dance and modern medical cultures in shaping understandings and ideals of the body in Australia, in the early to mid twentieth-century. Comment by Dr. Whitney Laemmli, Society of Fellows in the Humanities, Columbia University.

  • April 21, 2017

    Joanna Radin, from the Program in History of Science & Medicine, Yale University, will present “Latent Life in Biomedicine’s Ice Age,” the first chapter of her new book, Life on Ice: A History of New Uses for Cold Blood (Chicago, 2017). Susan Lederer, University of Wisconsin, will provide commentary.

  • March 17, 2017

    Beth Linker (University of Pennsylvania) discussed Huddled Masses: The Making of a Poor Posture Epidemic in America.   Comments by Joan Jacobs Brumberg, Professor Emerita, Cornell University and Carla Bittel, Associate Professor, Loyola Marymount University.

  • February 17, 2017

    Terence Keel (UC—Santa Barbara) and Osagie Obasogie (UC—Berkeley) in a virtual meet-and-greet on the origins and current projects of their working group on critical race theory and the health sciences.

  • January 27, 2017

    *Note Special Date*

    Kavita Sivaramakrishnan, Columbia Mailman School of Public Health, presented a paper on cancer and aging in India and South Africa.

  • November 18, 2016

    Merlin Chowkwanyun, Donald H. Gamson Chair in the History and Ethics of Public Health in the Department of Sociomedical Sciences at Columbia University Mailman School of Public Health presented a paper, "Is Small Always Beautiful? Is Community Always Great? Re-thinking the Big, Bad Academic Medical Center (1960-1980)" Kimberly Phillips-Fein, Gallatin School, New York University provided a comment.

  • April 15, 2016

    Dora Vargha (Birkbeck College, University of London, and 2015–2016 Consortium for HSTM Research Fellow) will present “After the End of Polio: Local and Global Consequences of Disease Elimination.” Daniel Wilson (Mulhenberg College) will provide commentary to start the discussion.

  • March 18, 2016

    Alex Mold (London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine) and Nancy Tomes (Stony Brook University) discussed their recently published books on patient consumerism in the UK (Making the Patient-Consumer, Manchester, 2015) and the US (Remaking the American Patient, UNC Press, 2016), and Roberta Bivins (University of Warwick) provided comments to start the discussion.

  • February 19, 2016

    Wendy Kline (Purdue University) shared a chapter from her book-in-progress, Coming Home: Medicine, Midwives, and the Transformation of Birth in Late-Twentieth-Century America. Judith Walzer Leavitt (U. Madison at Wisconsin) and Barbara Katz Rothman (Baruch College/CUNY Graduate Center) provided commentary and the group discussed.

  • December 18, 2015

    Heidi Knoblauch of Bard College joined the group to discuss her paper, "Collecting Patients: Clinical Photographs, Record Keeping, and Privacy in the United States, 1862-1939."

Group Membership