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COURSE TITLE: Medicine and Society in the Atlantic World: 1660-1918
NAME OF INSTRUCTOR: Dr. Richard Vaudry
CREDIT WEIGHT AND WEEKLY TIME DISTRIBUTION: credits 3(hrs lect 3 - hrs sem 0 - hrs lab 0)
COURSE DESCRIPTION: This course seeks to explore the role which medicine has played in the shaping of North Atlantic societies from the Great Plague of London in the mid-17th century to the Spanish Influenza epidemic of the early 20th. Topics to be discussed include physicians and surgeons, quacks and "irregulars", disease and diseases, hospitals, the practice of medicine, the changing nature of surgery, women and medicine, and medicine and empire.

Prerequisites: 3 credits in history
  • W.F. Bynum,  History of Medicine: A Very Short Introduction
  • Roy Porter, Blood and Guts
Essay Proposal10%
Illustrated Essay (3000 words)40%
Final Examination 40%
  • Approaches to the Social History of Medicine
  • Medicine and Atlantic History
  • Hippocratic Tradition and Galenic Medicine
  • Medicine in the Early Christian Era and the Middle Ages
  • Renaissance Medicine
  • A Reformation in Medicine
  • Medicine and the New Science
  • Disease and the ‘Columbian Exchange’
  • Plague in 17th century England
  • From the Scientific Revolution to the Enlightenment
  • Patients and Practitioners in 18th Century England
  • Physicians, Surgeons and Apothecaries
  • From Leiden to Edinburgh: Medical Education
  • Surgery Before Antiseptics
  • Quacks, Irregulars and Folk Medicine in the 17th and 18th centuries
  • Bloodletting and other ‘Heroic’ measures
  • Transatlantic Medicine: Philadelphia, Boston, Montreal
  • French Medicine in the Revolutionary Era
  • The Birth of the Hospital
  • The debate over vaccinations
  • Understanding disease 
  • Childbirth, chloroform and women’s bodies
  • The Cholera Years: Europe, the United States and BNA
  • War and Medicine
  • Medicine, Politics and the State
  • Medicine and Empire
  • Spanish Influena
  • Into the 20th Century
  • The Antibiotic Revolution

Required texts, assignments, and grade distributions may vary from one offering of this course to the next. Please consult the course instructor for up to date details.

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