The History of Medicine sponsors regular events throughout the year, including a biweekly Colloquium, the Holmes Workshop Series, Beaumont Medical Club Lectures, the Nathan Smith Club, and Conferences.

If you'd like to receive our weekly email announcing events, please contact Ramona Moore.

Workshops & Lectures

Beaumont Lectures

The Beaumont Medical Club was founded in 1920 by a group of Yale University School of Medicine physicians and faculty members including George Blumer, former dean, C.-E.A. Winslow, renowned microbiologist and public health practitioner, and M.C. Winternitz, well-know pathologist and dean of the medical school. Although the club's first meeting was held on December 14, 1920, the club adopted its official name three months later after some discussion. The founders were interested in naming the club for a distinguished physician, choosing William Beaumont, a Connecticut native and an early pioneer in physiology in this country, as an appropriate honoree. 

The club was organized to promote the study of the history of medicine and to celebrate the contributions of physicians and medical scientists in promoting the welfare of mankind. From its inception, the Beaumont Medical Club has met on six or seven Friday evenings during the academic year in the Yale Historical Library to hear presentations by members and invited speakers. The meetings have been preceded by an informal tea and have been followed by a sherry hour and dinner for members and invited guests in the Beaumont Room almost since the beginning of the Club's history. 

Today, tea is served at 4:30 P.M. in the Beaumont Room on the second floor of the Sterling Hall of Medicine above the medical library; the presentation starts at 5 P.M. in the Historical Library on the first floor; sherry and refreshments are served in the library immediately following the presentation; and dinner is served in the Beaumont Room from 6:30 P.M. to 8:00 P.M.

All Beamont Medical Club lectures are held in the Historical Library at 333 Cedar Street unless othewise noted.

Fall 2014

September 19
Jerzy Henisz, MD
Associate Clincal Professor of Psychiatry, Emeritus Yale University 

October 17 - Rosen Lecture
"Social Movements in U.S Health are Reform"
Beatrix Hoffman, PhD
Department Chair and Professor
Northern Illinois University, Department of History 

November 7 – Beaumont Lecture
"Evolution of Ethical Principles and Norms for Research involving Human Subjects"
Robert Levine, MD
Professor of Medicine
Yale University School of Medicine 

Spring 2015

February 27
"Maria E. Zakrzewska MD (1829-1902), an American Precursor of Darwin"
Anna K. Zakrzewska-Henisz, MD, PhD
Assistant Professor of Radiology, Emerita; University of Connecticut School of Medicine; Former Research Associate at Yale University 

May 15
"William H. Welch, MD (1850-1934), First Dean, The Johns Hopkins School of Medicine"
Joseph A. Grasso, Ph.D.


The Program sponsors a regular biweekly Colloquium during the fall and spring terms. Its aim is to enlarge the engagement of faculty and, especially, students with the diverse approaches and cutting-edge work of both junior and senior scholars from the United States and abroad in the history of science and medicine. The colloquium is well attended and is the site of vigorous discussion following the talks.

All colloquia, workshops and lectures are scheduled for 4:30 pm unless stated otherwise. *When they are held in the Fulton Room in Sterling Hall of Medicine, there will be tea at 4:00.

Fall 2014

September 15
“The Laboring Dead: Cholera and Smallpox among the Formerly Enslaved during the American Civil War”
James T. Downs, Associate Professor of History, Connecticut College
Location: 333 Cedar Street, SHM, Fulton Room, L215 

September 29
"Truth or Proof? Antiquarianism, Science, and Money in the Republic of Letters”
Harold Cook, John F. Nickoll Professor of History, Brown University
Location: 320 York Street, HGS 211 

October 13
"Orlando Fals Borda, La Rosca, and Participatory Research in Colombia”
Joanne Rappaport, Professor, Department of Anthropology, History of Science and Council on Latin American & Iberian Studies, Georgetown University
Location: 320 York Street, HGS 211 

November 3
"All aboard the Baltimore poo-poo choo-choo: Human Waste, Public Health and Environmental Justice in Post-War America”
Graham Mooney, Assistant Professor, Institute of The History of Medicine, Johns Hopkins University
Location: 333 Cedar Street, SHM, Fulton Room, L215 

November 17
"Poisoned Evidence: Toxicology and Testimony in Nineteenth-Century India”
David Arnold, Professor of Asian and Global History, University of Warwick
Location: 333 Cedar Street, SHM, Fulton Room, L215 *

December 1
"Salvage Technology and the Materiality Reuse”
Hanna Rose Shell, Leo Marx Career Development Associate Professor of Science, Technology, and Society, Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Location: 320 York Street, HGS 211

Spring 2015

February 2
Frederic L. Holmes Lecture “The Lobster and the Mother-in-Law: Making Knowledge in the Streets of 17th Century London"
Mary Fissell, Professor, Institute of the History of Medicine, Johns Hopkins University
Location: 333 Cedar Street, SHM, Historical Library 

February 9
“Climate Data Detectives: On the History and Politics of Knowledge about Global Climate Change”
Paul Edwards, Professor of History, History of Science and Medicine and Environmental History, University of Michigan
Location: 320 York Street, HGS 211 

February 23
John P. McGovern Lecture in the History of Medicine "Escaping Melodrama: An Historian and the Studies in Tuskegee and Guatemala"
Susan Reverby, Marion Butler McLean Professor in the History of Ideas and Professor of Women and Gender Studies, Wellesley College
Location: 333 Cedar Street, SHM, Fulton Room, L215 * 

March 23
“How to do Things with Worlds: Cosmograms in Action”
John Tresch, History and Sociology of Science, University of Pennsylvania
Location: 320 York Street, HGS 211 

April 6
"Medicine, Striking Doctors, and Guerillas: The State and Healthcare Providers in 1960s Mexico”
Gabriela Soto Laveaga, Associate Professor, Department of History, University of California Santa Barbara
Location: 333 Cedar Street, SHM, Fulton Room, L215 * 

April 20
"Beyond Compare? Individuals, Societies, and the Analogical Method in Nineteenth-Century European Biology."
Lynn Nyhart, Vilas-Bablitch-Kelch Distinguished Achievement Professor, History of Science, University of Wisconsin
Location: 320 York Street, HGS 211 *

* When held in Fulton Room tea is at 4:00 pm & talk is at 4:30 p.m. 

For further information: or (203) 432-1365

Disability Studies Working Group

The Disability Studies Working Group offers a safe and welcoming space for students and faculty to discuss books and articles, read one another's papers, and exchange ideas about disability issues across all academic disciplines and in current events. Our monthly meetings center around a published reading or paper-in-progress, encouraging collegial exchange and scholarly development in this rapidly expanding field. All are welcomed! 

Friday, February 13 @ 1 PM, HGS 301: Discussion of Paul Longmore's famous essay "Why I Burned My Book," available in Orbis at (pages 230-259). This piece brings issues of disability, labour, and social justice into high relief, as Longmore burned his book in protest of illogical government policies for people with disabilities. A must-read introduction to the complexities of studying disability in American society.

Friday, March 6 @ 1 PM, HGS 301: Discussion of Robert McRuer's "Compulsory Ablebodiedness and Queer/Disabled Existence," available at McRuer explores the intersections of queer and disabled subjectivities, coining the term "compulsory able-bodiedness" to critique American society and its expectations of ability. This meeting will be a chance to discuss the overlapping aims of gender, sexuality, race, and disability studies.

Friday, April 17 @ 1 PM, HGS 301: Workshop to discuss "Where the Rubber Meets the Road: Deaf Employment in American Firestone and Goodyear Factories During the World Wars." This is a draft paper by PhD student Katherine Healey from the Program in the History of Science and Medicine. The paper will be available in advance of the meeting.

We hope to see you at our next meeting! If you have any questions, comments, concerns, or suggestions for future meetings and events, please email us at,, or

Holmes Workshops

The Holmes Workshop Series aims to encourage scholarly discussions of ongoing research among graduate students and faculty members at Yale working on projects related to the history of science and medicine, while fostering a sense of community spirit and collegiality among members of the Program in the History of Science and Medicine. It is named after Dr. Frederic L. Holmes, former chairman of the Program.

Holmes workshops run from 4:30-6:00 on certain Mondays throughout the fall and spring semesters (see schedule). Presenters are encouraged to pre-circulate their papers or chapters when possible.

Fall 2014

September 22
Jonny Bunning, "The Womb of the World": Commercial Surrogacy in India from Bioethics to Biopolitics
Commenter: Hae Soo Park 

October 6
Charlotte Abney, “Networks of Chemistry: The Discovery of Cerium in Gustavian Sweden”
Commenter: TBA 

October 27
Carmel Raz, "Hector Berlioz’s Neurophysiological Imagination" Commenter: Courtney Thomson 

November 10
Catherine Mas, "Making Metaphysicians: Christian Science Healing in the Late Nineteenth Century"
Commenter: Heidi Knoblauch 

December 8
Katherrine Healy, "I know I When I See It"? Accessible Pornography for the Blind"
Commenter: Jenna Healey

Spring 2015

January 12
Tess Lanzarotta, "A Lab at the Top of the World: Circumpolar Health and Indigenous Politics in Cold War Alaska"
Commenter: Marco Ramos 

January 26 - CANCELLED
Barbara DiGennaro, "The Work of the Apothecary: Erudition, Experience, Authority"
Commenter: Charlotte Abney 

February 16
Heidi Knoblauch, "Medical Photography, Record Keeping, and the Doctor Patient Relationship: The Photographic Department at Bellevue Hospital, 1868 − 1906"
Commenter: Barbara Pohl 

March 2
Katie Mas, "Making Metaphysicians: Christian Science Healing in the Late Nineteenth Century"
Commenter: Laurel Waycott 

March 30
Jenna Healey, "Tattletale: Teenage Pregnancy, Parental Notification, and the Rise of the New Right"
Commenter: Alyssa Battistoni 

April 13
Haesoo Park, "Dirt of Words, Fissure in Structures: The Postcolonial Feminist Cells"
Commenter: Gerardo Con Diaz 

April 27
Ashanti Shih
Commenter: Jonny Bunning

Nathan Smith Club

Nathan SmithNathan Smith, MD

This club is the oldest and one of the best-kept secrets of the Yale School of Medicine. Established in 1924, the organization for medical students interested in the history of medicine was named for Dr. Nathan Smith (1762-1829), a New England physician who founded the Dartmouth Medical School before coming to New Haven to establish the medical department at Yale. The club is run by Yale medical students and meets several times a year to hear a fellow medical student present their research on some aspect of the history of medicine. These meetings are informal and typically take place at the home of a Yale medical faculty member.

Any medical student interested in the Nathan Smith Club is encouraged to contact the Section of the History of Medicine at 785-4338.

January 16, 2014
Stephen Latham (Director, Yale's Interdisciplinary Center for Bioethics) & David Odo (Bradley Assistant Curator of Academic Affairs. Yale University Art Gallery) will inaugurate a new era for the Club by leading a discussion on, "Empathy, Objects, and Medical History", 530 pm, Fulton Room, SHM, 333 Cedar Street.

Working Group on Psychiatry and Culture in Historical Perspective

We are a group of physicians, historians, clinical psychologists, social scientists, and others who meet on a regular basis to discuss recent scholarship at the intersection of our fields. With the support of the Section of the History of Medicine and Department of Psychiatry, we have been able to host a number of scholars from outside institutions for presentations of work in progress. Meetings take place from 6:30-8:00pm in the Fulton Room at 333 Cedar Street. Readings are precirculated, and RSVPs are requested in order to get an accurate count for food. For further information or to be added to our email list, please contact Mical Raz ( or Matthew Gambino (

Fall 2014

Wednesday, September 10, 2014
Michael Staub, PhD (Department of English, Baruch College)
“Dichotomania: Split-Brain Research and the Rise of the Neuroscience Revolution” 

Wednesday, October 22, 2014
Ben Harris, PhD (Department of Psychology, University of New Hampshire)
John G. Gehring, the ‘Wizard of the Androscoggin” 

Wednesday, December 3, 2014
Mical Raz, MD, PhD (Department of Internal Medicine and Section of the History of Medicine, Yale University)
“Treating Addiction or Reducing Crime? Methadone Maintenance and Drug Policy under the Nixon Administration”

Spring 2015

Wednesday, January 14, 2015
Helena Hansen, MD, PhD (Departments of Psychiatry and Anthropology, New York University)
"Managing the Fix: How Do You Treat Addiction in the Age of Pills?” (documentary film and discussion) 

Wednesday, February 25, 2015
Claire Edington, PhD (Mahindra Humanities Center, Harvard University)
“Getting Out of the Asylum: Writing the Social History of Psychiatry in French Indochina” 

Thursday, March 12, 2015
Jonathan Metzl, MD, PhD (Center for Health, Medicine, and Society, Vanderbilt University)
"Structural Competency: New Medicine for the Inequalities that are Making Us Sick"

Wednesday, April 29, 2015
Erika Dyck, PhD (Department of History, University of Saskatchewan)
Topic TBA 

Wednesday, May 13, 2015
Alexandra Bacopoulos-Viau, PhD (Department of Media, Culture, and Communication, New York University)
“The Patient's Turn: Re-Assessing Roy Porter’s Legacy, Thirty Years On”