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 for members and invited guests is served in the Beaumont Room from 6:30 P.M. to 8:00 P.M.

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


16 September 2016 (BEAUMONT LECTURE)

John M. de Figueiredo MD, Past President of the Beaumont Medical Club, Clinical Professor, Department of Psychiatry, Yale University,

School of Medicine, New Haven, CT


"From Bones to Ashes: Rise and Demise of a Medical Genius (Garcia d'Orta, c.1501-1568)"


21 October 2016

20 January 2017


17 February 2017

17 March 2017


21 April 2017


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 2016

Thursday, September 15, 2016

4:00 Exhibit opening and "Meet the Artist" Cushing Rotunda

"The AIDS Suite," HIV Positive Women in Prison and Other Works

by artist/activist Sue Coe.

5:00 A Conversation with Sue Coe and colleague Eric Avery, M.D., Historical Library

The Barwick Lecture, Program for the Humanities in Medicine, co-sponsored by the Cushing/Whitney Medical Library

19 September

Rebecca Kluchin

Department of History

California State University, Sacramento

Title of Talk – Pregnancy and Reproductive Rights: Women, Medicine, and Maternal-Fetal Conflict in Post-Roe America.

Location – 333 Cedar Street, Fulton Room, SHM, L215

HOST – Katie Healey

3 October

Keith Wailoo, PhD, Princeton University (Manuelidis Lecture)

Title of Talk – "The Politics of Pain: Medicine, Social Difference, and the Gatekeepers of Relief in America." 

Location – 333 Cedar Street, Historical Library, SHM

HOST – Sam Schotland


10 October

Nadav Davidovitch

Ben-Gurion University of the Negev - Faculty of Health Sciences

Professor, Head of Department, Department of Health Systems Management

Title of Talk – “The Shadow of the Holocaust on Bioethics: A Comparative Study of Israel and Germany”

Location – 333 Cedar Street, Fulton Room, SHM, L215

HOST: Sarah Pickman

17 October

Stephanie Dick, Harvard University/Penn

Title of Talk – "After Math: Reasoning, Computing, and Proving in the Postwar United States"

Location – HGS 211, 320 York Street

HOST: Jonny Bunning


24 October

Helena Hansen, NYU (Race, Science, & Social Justice; A History of Science and Medicine (HSHM) Lecture Series Sponsored by the Office of the Provost of Yale University

Title of Talk – "White Opioids: Race in the War on Drugs that Wasn't."

Location – 333 Cedar Street Historical Library, SHM, 333 Cedar @ 430pm

HOST: Katie Mas


7 November

Alex Csiszar, Harvard University

Title of Talk – "Scientific Journalism and the Politics of Representation in Early Nineteenth-Century Paris"

Location – HGS 211, 320 York Street

HOST: Caroline Lieffers


14 November

Paula Findlen, Stanford University (Frederic Holmes Lecture)

Title of Talk - “Mondino's Assistant:  Imagining the Female Anatomist in Medieval Italy (and Beyond).”

Location – 333 Cedar Street, SHM, Historical Library

HOST: Laurel Waycott


5 December

Elly Truitt, Bryn Mawr

Title of Talk – "Thinking with Machines in the Middle Ages"

Location – HGS 211, 320 York Street

HOST: Barbara diGennaro


30 January

Federico Marcon, Princeton University

Title of Talk - "Without Nature: Thinking about the Environment in Early Modern Japan"

Location – HGS 211, 320 York Street

HOST: Simon Torracinta

6 February

Carolyn Roberts, Harvard University (Race, Science, & Social Justice; A History of Science and Medicine (HSHM) Lecture Series Sponsored by the Office of the Provost of Yale University

Title of Talk - TBA

Location – 333 Cedar Street, SHM, 333 Cedar Street, Historical Library

HOST: Deborah Streahle

13 February

Steven Palmer

Title of Talk - TBA

Location – 333 Cedar Street, Fulton Room, SHM L215

HOST: Liana DeMarco

20 February

Laura Briggs, Professor and Chair

University of Massachusetts Amherst

Women, Gender, Sexual Studies People

Title of Talk – TBA

Location – 333 Cedar Street, SHM, L215

HOST: Maya Sandler

6 March

 Alexandra Minna Stern, Michigan University, (McGovern Lecture)

Title of Talk - “Born this Way”: Genetics, Activism, and the “Gay Gene” in the United States

Location – 333 Cedar Street, SHM, Historical Library

HOST: Megann Licskai


27 March

Wangui Muigai, Princeton University (Race, Science, & Social Justice; A History of Science and Medicine (HSHM) Lecture Series Sponsored by the Office of the Provost of Yale University)

Title of Talk - TBA

Location – 333 Cedar Street, SHM, 333 Cedar Street, Historical

HOST: Gourav Nandi

10 April

Harriet Ritvo

Massachusetts Institute of Technology

Title of Talk – TBA

Location – 333 Cedar Street, Fulton Room, SHM L215

HOST: Chelsea Link


24 April

Colin Webster, UC Davis

Title of Talk – "Rewriting the History of Technology in Antiquity" 

Location – HGS 211, 320 York Street

HOST: Ashanti Shih


For further information:, or (203) 432-1365

Disability Studies Working Group

Disability Studies Working Group 2016-2017

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! 

Talks are held at HGS, Room 301, 320 York Street, New Haven, CT.


Friday, September 23, 1:00 PM: “Imperialism, Nationalism, Ableism: A Roundtable,” with speakers Katherrine Healey, Caroline Lieffers, and Ittai Orr

Monday, October 3, 1:00 PM: “Capacious Physiology,” a talk by Janet Lyon, Professor of English at Pennsylvania State University

Friday, October 21, 9-4 PM: Conference on Health and Employment Disparities, in partnership with the Interdisciplinary Center on Bioethics

Wednesday November 2, 5:00 PM: Guest Speaker Christina Crosby (author of A Body, Undone) (via WGSS speaker series)

Friday, November 11, 1:00 PM: Disability and medical ethics readings and discussion

Friday, December 2, 1:00 PM: Prospectus workshop with Efe Igor, PhD Student, History

Friday, January 20, 1:00 PM: Film screening and discussion, Freaks (1932)

Friday, February 17, 1:00 PM: Discussion with Charlie Davidson, post-doctoral fellow in Psychiatry, about “hearing voices” networks and mental illness diagnosis

Friday, March 10, 1:00 PM: Paper workshop with Camille Owens, PhD Student, History

Friday, April 14, 1:00 PM: Visit to Yale Center for British Art to learn about the Center’s extensive programming for people with developmental disabilities and autism

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 2016

September 12

Caroline Lieffers

“Rehabilitating the World: Disability and American Empire in Conversation”

& Bill Summers, Research Update


September 26

Barbara Di Gennaro

“Divine Theriac: Healing and the Early Modern Pharmaceutical Endeavor”


October 31

Gourav Kirshna Nandi

“Situating Jewson: The immediate context of the Disappearance of the Sick-man”


November 28

Tess Lanzarotta

Title: TBA


December 12

Haesoo Park

“Viral Tango”

Nathan Smith Club

Nathan Smith

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.

History, Humanities, and Health (HHH) Interest Group

The mission of HHH is to explore the political, social, and humanistic dimensions of medicine through a historical lens. Topics include, but are not limited to race and health disparities, the history of bioethics and medical experimentation, health activism, and psychiatry and sexuality. This interdisciplinary group is open to medical students, residents, historians, and anyone interested in the history of medicine.

For Fall 2016, we will meet at 6pm on the dates below in the Yale University Art Gallery. After an hour of discussion in the gallery, we will move to the Yale Art School for dinner and further discussion. We should finish around 8pm or so.

Readings are pre-circulated. For further information or to be added to our email list please contact Maya Sandler at; Nientara Anderson at; Marco Ramos at or Henry Cowles at


History, Health, and Humanities Working Group


Fall 2016 Calendar

The theme for this semester is Violence, Visibility, and Hierarchies of Power. We will explore works of art that shed light, represent, or bring attention to forms of violence that are generally hidden or invisible for reasons that often intersect with race, gender, sexuality, and class. In doing so, the HHH Working Group hopes to gain insight into how the medical profession itself is complicit in representing, investigating, and treating violence in ways that conceal certain forms of violence, while making others visible.

All events this semester will take place in the Yale University Art Gallery (1111 Chapel Street).

September 22nd

Biomedical Gaze and Power in the Age of Slavery

Art Work: Joscelyn Gardner, Cinchona Pubescens

Readings from Sharla Fett on health and healing on slave plantations and Nicholas Mirzoeff, “The Right to Look”


September 29th

The War on Drugs: Recasting Addiction as Illness

Art Work: Duane Hanson, Drug Addict

Readings from Michelle Alexander’s The New Jim Crow and Phillipe Bourgeois on crack and dignity in Harlem


October 13th

Whose Feminism? Whose Bodies?

Art Works: Judith Shea, Still Standing and Howardena Doreen Pindell, Free, White, and21

Readings from Wendy Kline, David Herzberg, and the recent article from Robin DiAngelo, “White Women’s Tears and the Men Who Love them”

November 14th

Radical Care: Health as Activism

Art Works: W. Eugene Smith, Feeding Baby in the Nursery

and Mental Patient

Readings from Alondra Nelson and Annelise Orleck on health activism in the Black Panther Party and among black mothers in Las Vegas in the 1970s.


November 17th

Self-Determination and Displacement

Art Work: Anthony Hernandez,

Landscapes for the Homeless #2

Readings from Rhonda Williams on black women’s struggle for decent housing, Kelly Ray Knight on housing insecurity, and Julia Wong on police brutality against the homeless


December 1st

Racialized Trauma

Art Work: Alison Saar, Bat Boyz and

Joyce J. Scott, None Are Free Until All Are Free

Readings on racism, trauma, and PTSD, and also Courtney R. Baker on “Looking at Images of African American Suffering and Death”