Save the date for HHH meeting on March 8 – Medical biographies

This year’s HHH spring meeting will focus on the theme of medical biographies. Biography is a contested genre in the historical discipline, sometimes seen as the relic of an older big-man style of history. Yet it also appears as a rich medium to tell the stories of historical actors, be they human, objects, or diseases. So what can biographies bring to medical history?

The keynote lecture of this meeting will be delivered by Carolyn Eastman, Professor of History at Virginia Commonwealth University. Carolyn writes about early America and the Atlantic world, focusing on the intersections of gender, political culture, and the mediums of writing, speaking, and visual images. She has recently researched New Yorkers’ experiences of yellow fever epidemics, and, most relevant for this meeting, she is the author of The Strange Genius of Mr. O. This book is a biography of James Ogilvie, a Scottish orator who rose to fame in early 19th century America, only to be soon forgotten. Through Mr. O’s story, readers learn about the American’s public desire for self-improvement that fuelled his success.

More information on the location, programme and speakers will follow soon. As always, the meeting is free and open to anyone interested. We hope to see many of you on March 8!