Rina Knoeff appointed full professor Health & Humanities

HHH board member Rina Knoeff has been appointed full professor of Health and Humanities at the University of Groningen. Hers is one of the new Aletta Jacobs chairs the university is creating to promote female academic talent, and an new asset for Dutch academic medical history.

Rina specialises in the history of medicine and health in the Enlightenment, in particular with regard to the history of (anatomical) collections, the cultural history of the body and lifestyle medicine in the 18th century. Central to her work is also the question of how knowledge of (medical) history can help in answering important health questions today – over the past year, she appeared in Dutch media regularly to comment on the Covid19 crisis from the perspective of medical history. This question will also be leading for how she wants to fulfill her Health and Humanities chair: “Humanities can make an important contribution to scientific education and research into the historical, cultural, social and political mechanisms that so often determine health. It is therefore particularly fitting that this chair in Health and Humanities is situated within the Faculty of Arts and is named after Aletta Jacobs. After all, Aletta Jacobs knew better than anyone that health extends beyond the field of medicine alone”.

Prof. dr. Rina Knoeff

Rina is also director of the Groningen Centre for Health and Humanities and coordinator at the Aletta Jacobs School for Public Health. She was principal investigator of the NWO Free Competition Programme Cultures of Collecting. The Leiden Anatomical Collections in Context (2008-2012), and the VIDI project “Vital Matters: Boerhaave’s Chemico- Medical Legacy and Dutch Enlightenment Culture” (2012-2017).

To find out why it is especially appropriate that a health humanities chair be among the Aletta Jacobs chairs, read more on the University of Groningen website.