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News and Events


The Centre for Medical History hosts many internal and external events throughout the year as part of both academic and public engagement activities.

We regularly run one-off events bringing together academics, health professionals and the wider public to disseminate our research. Each term, we also run a seminar series involving undergraduate and postgraduate students and academics.

Centre Events

Centre staff members are closely involved in developing and promoting academic debate nationally and internationally through participation in conferences, workshops and symposia. Staff are also increasingly engaging more widely with professional and public debate on healthcare matters. You can see our list of past events here.

Join Centre for Medical History researchers and discover how they are investigating key issues in modern day life and how you can be part of change and innovation.

Upcoming Events

Tuesday 6 December ‘Workshop on Podcasting with Ben Miller co-host of Bad Gays, in conversation with Kate Davison (University of Edinburgh). Full details
Tuesday 6 December Research Seminar, Kate Davison (University of Edinburgh) and Ben (Freie Universität Berlin, Schulwes Museum, Berlin). Full details
Wednesday 25 January - 3:30pm-5pm Lu Chen, Andrea Espinoza Carvajal, and Sebastian Fonseca, Connecting Three Worlds
Thursday 9 February - 2pm Fred Cooper, Shame and Medical History WCCEH Boardroom. 
Thursday 4 May Shame and Medical History Seminar Series. Full details here.

Workshop Series

Run by the Wellcome Centre for Cultures and Environments of Health and open to anyone working on medical humanities, these workshops are a mix of skills development events and discussion sessions addressing themes and issues around academic careers and research culture that have emerged during our EDI and Research Culture drop-in groups.

All events will be hybrid, in the WCCEH Boardroom (Queen's Building) and over Zoom, and everyone is welcome!

Please contact Lucy Hodges ( and Martin Moore ( for joining details.

Friday 24 February (10am-11.30am) The Whys and Hows of Giving a Paper
Friday 24 March (1pm-2.30pm) Giving and Negotiating Feedback
Wednesday 3 May (Time TBC) Academic Failure
Wednesday 7 June (2pm-3.30pm) Academia in Disrupted Regions
July (Date and Time, TBC) Workshop Review Session - How Did It All Go So Wrong?

External Events

The Centre for Medical History has links with many other similar Centres and Departments that also hold conferences and seminars. Please find details of their research events here.

Centre for the Study of Medicine and the Body in The Renaissance

Summer School: Intensity and the Grades of Nature. Heat, Colour, and Sound in the Ordering of Pre-Modern Cosmos: 1200-1600

11-14 July 2023, Domus Comeliana, Pisa

Held in the stunning premises and terrace of the Domus Comeliana, this summer school will explore how heat, colour, and sound have been used, conceptualised and graded in the pre-modern cosmos shaping both disciplines of knowledge and everyday life.

View the Centre website for full details

Centre for Global Health Histories

Centre for the History of Science, Technology and Medicine

Centre for History in Public Health

Centre for the History of Medicine and Disease

Department of History and Philosophy of Science


VivaMente conference grant awarded

Catherine Rider and Sarah Toulalan have been awarded a VivaMente conference grant by the Centre for the Study of Medicine and the Body in the Renaissance in Pisa, to organise a conference on ‘Fertility, Medicine and the Body: Theory and Practice across the Premodern World’ on 22-23 May 2023. Additional sponsorship has been provided by the Department of Archaeology and History at Exeter. Our aim is to address a broad spectrum of issues to do with fertility (and infertility), with a particular focus on the transmission of ideas between Europe, the Islamicate world, and beyond. To this end, it will bring together scholars working on different periods, regions and cultures, which are often studied separately. Read more

Whose stories? Sharing the authorship of medical histories of World War 1

Thursday 26April 2018 at 17.30, Reed Hall, University of Exeter
Exeter University’s Centre for Medical History and Exeter Local History Society supported a commemoration of Reed Hall’s hospital past and the contribution of doctors and nurses who worked there.  

Reed Hall, then called Streatham Hall, housed injured soldiers between 1917 and 1919 and was one of Exeter’s seven temporary wartime treatment centres for troops.  Researchers from the Centre for Medical History and Exeter Local History Society have uncovered incredible first-hand accounts from those accommodated in the hospitals, as well as from medical staff who worked there.  A heritage plaque was dedicated and installed on Reed Hall to mark this history and the ceremony was attended by Exeter’s Lord Mayor and relatives of those who were treated.  More details can be found from the following webpage:

Mark Jackson shortlisted for The British Society for the History of Science 2015 Dingle Prize 

Mark Jackson's publication The History of Medicine: A Beginner's Guide (ONEWORLD, 2014) has been shortlisted for the 2015 Dingle Prize, awarded by the British Society for the History of Science.

The Dingle Prize is offered for the best book in the history of science, technology, and medicine, first published in English in 2013 or 2014, which is accessible to a wide audience of non-specialists. 

BBC Radio 3 selects Exeter Medical Historian as a new generation broadcaster

Dr Alun Withey from the Centre for Medical History has been chosen by BBC Radio 3 and the Arts and Humanities Research Council’s (AHRC) as one of the ten academics named as part of the New Generation Thinkers 2014 scheme.  

The ten winners will spend a year workingwith Radio 3 presenters and producers to develop their research and ideas into broadcasts. They will make their debut appearance on BBC Radio 3's arts and ideas programme, Free Thinking, on successive editions beginning Tuesday 10 June and will be invited to make regular contributions to the network throughout the year. They will deliver talks at Radio 3's annual Free Thinking Festival of Ideas at the Sage, Gateshead in November 2014

Alun is an expert in early modern medical history, specialising in the history of medicine in sixteenth- and seventeenth-century Wales.  His ideas for programming are based on the medical world of early modern England 1500-1715 including the cultural history of the beard.Read more over at the University of Exeter news page.

The Routledge History of Sex and the Body chosen as a CHOICE Outstanding Academic Titles for 2013

Dr Sarah Toulalan and Professor Kate Fisher's co-edited book The Routledge History of Sex and the Body 1500 to Present has been picked as a CHOICE Outstanding Academic Title for 2013.

CHOICE subject editors select the most significant titles reviewed throughout the year and publish the list of outstanding titles in the January edition of the journal.

The publication, which was reviewd in the September 2013 edition, received positive reviews including:

‘With abundant and appropriate citations and a rich bibliography, this volume will be indispensable for students and scholars interested in the history of sexuality and the body.’ S. L. Harp, University of Akron

The stress of life: A modern complaint?

In 2009, the Health and Safety Executive estimated that in the UK 13·5 million working days were lost to stress each year and that the annual cost of work-related stress was in the region of £4 billion. In his latest article 'The stress of life: a modern complaint?' published in The LancetProfessor Mark Jackson looks at whether we really are more prone to stress in our lives than our predecessors.

'Physick and the Family' wins EAHMH Book Prize 2013

Centre Research Fellow Dr Alun Withey's book 'Physick and the Family: Health, Medicine and Care in Wales, 16001750' has won a major European book prize. The award, given biennially by the European Association for the History of Medicine and Health, is presented for the best medical history monograph published in the four years preceding the award.  This is only the second time that the prize has been awarded, and the first for a work of British history.   

Stress – a modern day issue?

Today, many people consider stress to be part of life, yet most of us have little understanding of what the concept means or where it comes from.

In his new book The Age of Stress, University of Exeter historian Professor Mark Jackson explores the history of scientific studies of stress and how stress became a buzzword of the modern world.

Read more over at the University of Exeter news page.

News Archive

Centre for Medical History Annual Report 2010–11

Centre for Medical History Annual Report 2009–10

Centre for Medical History Annual Report 2008–9