Methods and Themes in the History of Medicine

(Convenors: Dr Mark Harrison and others)

This course is compulsory for students planning to write a Masters dissertation in the history of medicine and for all Probationer Research Students who do not possess an appropriate Masters degree. It is designed to provide students with an intellectually challenging introduction to key methodologies and historiographic issues in their field. The course covers a wide range of topics (see Handbook) and is taught over ten weeks in the first term. Following the introductory session, students are taught by a one-hour lecture and a one-and-a-half hour class, the following week. In classes, students are required make a number of presentations which form the basis for critical appraisal and discussion. The subject matter of the lecturers and classes reflects the varied and interdisciplinary subject matter of the history of medicine, and classes often focus on concepts derived from other disciplines such as anthropology and sociology. The aim is to provide coverage of near-universal themes such as the relationship between patients and practitioners, while providing an introduction to subjects on which students are likely to write dissertations.