Social and cultural history of medicine (2020/2021)

Course code
Name of lecturer
Alessandro Arcangeli
Alessandro Arcangeli
Number of ECTS credits allocated
Academic sector
Language of instruction
CuCi IIA dal Feb 15, 2021 al Apr 1, 2021.

Lesson timetable

Go to lesson schedule

Learning outcomes

To familiarize with the field of medical history, critical competence on its intellectual vocabulary and a first introduction to its worldwide literature; to develop strategies for the interpretation of sources via this mode of enquiry.


The history of the body.
0. Recommended reading: Ian Miller, Medical History, London, Red Globe Press, 2018 (196 pp.); alternatively:
John C. Burnham, What is Medical History?, Cambridge, Polity, 2005 (174 pp.).
1. Set text: Willemijn Ruberg, History of the Body, London, Red Globe Press, 2019 (164 pp.).

2. At least one of the following articles:
**Cathleen Canning, The Body as Method? Reflections on the Place of the Body in Gender History, «Gender & History» 11 (1999) 499-513;
*Iris Clever and Willemijn Ruberg, Beyond Cultural History? The Material Turn, Praxiography, and Body History, «Humanities» (2014) 546-566;
*Roger Cooter, The Turn of the Body: History and the Politics of the Corporeal, «ARBOR Ciencia. Pensamiento y Cultura» 186: 743 (2010) 393-405;
*Genevieve Galán Tamés, Aproximaciones a la historia del cuerpo como objeto de estudio de la disciplina histórica, «Historia y Grafía» 33 (2009) 167-204;
**Willemijn Ruberg, Body History, in Iris van der Tuin (ed.), Gender: Nature, Farmington Hills (MI), Macmillan Reference USA, 2016, pp. 3-15.

3. At least one of the following books:
Fay Bound Alberti, This Mortal Coil: The Human Body in History and Culture, Oxford, Oxford University Press, 2016 (304 pp.);
Alain Corbin, Jean Courtine and Georges Vigarello (eds), Histoire du corps, Paris, Seuil, 2005 (one of the 3 volumes);
Linda Kalof and W.F. Bynum (eds), A Cultural History of the Human Body, London, Bloomsbury Academic, 2014 (one of the 6 volumes).

Reference books
Author Title Publisher Year ISBN Note
Linda Kalof e W.F. Bynum (eds) A Cultural History of the Human Body Bloomsbury Academic 2014 (uno dei sei volumi)
Alain Corbin, Jean Courtine e Georges Vigarello (eds) Histoire du corps Seuil 2005 (uno dei tre volumi)
Willemijn Ruberg History of the Body Red Globe Press 2019
Ian Miller Medical History Red Globe Press 2018 (consigliato)
Fay Bound Alberti This Mortal Coil: The Human Body in History and Culture Oxford University Press 2016
John C. Burnham What is Medical History? Polity 2005 (consigliato)

Assessment methods and criteria

15-page essay on a previously agreed topic. Oral interview on both the essay and the course bibliography, aimed at assessing the degree of familiarity with the issues and methods of medical history, in the specific case of the history of the body. In particular, the following abilities will be taken into account: understanding the reference texts, reflecting on the issues therein involved and argumentation.
NB: In the current Covid-19 emergency the interview will be held via distanced videocall. Please follow publicly posted uptades. Interviews via distanced videocall will be anyway available, on request, for the whole duration of the current academic year.