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 othewise noted.


FALL 2015

Friday, September 11  

Unfolding Epidemiological Stories: How Frozen Blood Became a Resource for Public Health

Joanna Radin, PhD

Assistant Professor in the History of Medicine, of Anthropology and of History

Yale University



Friday, October 23

Psychosurgery and Evita's Secret Prefrontal Lobotomy

Daniel E. Nijensohn, M.D., P.C.

Neurosurgery, Brain, Spine and Nerve Center Bridgeport, Connecticut


Honorary Professor, Department of Neurosurgery

Yale University School of Medicine


Friday, November 20 (ROSEN LECTURE)

The Education and Training of American Surgeons, 1880 - 1960

Justin Barr, MD, PhD

Resident in General Surgery

Duke University


Spring 2016


Friday, January 15

"Historical Illustrations of Skin Disease: Selections from the New Sydenham Society Atlas 1860-1884"

Irwin M. Braverman, MD

Professor Emeritus of Dermatology

Yale University School of Medicine


Susan Wheeler

Curator, Prints and Drawings

Cushing/Whitney Medical Library

Yale University


Jean L. Bolognia, MD

Professor of Dermatology; Vice Chair, Clinical Affairs

Yale University


Friday, March 4 (FULTON LECTURE)

John Fulton: Triumph and tragedy of a Yale pioneer in neuroscience and co-founder of the Medical Historical Library

Gordon M. Shepherd, MD, DPhil

Department of Neuroscience

Yale University School of Medicine


Cynthia Tsay, YSM'18


Friday, April 22 (BEAUMONT LECTURE)

Topic to be determined

John DeFigueiredo, MD

Associate Clinical Professor, Department of Psychiatry

Yale University School of Medicine


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 2015


Monday, September 21 Frederic L. Holmes Lecture 

"Making the Cut: A Case of Surgical Enthusiasm in America"

Dr. Beth Linker

Associate Professor, Director, Health and Societies Program, Department of History and Sociology of Science

University of Pennsylvania

Location: 333 Cedar Street, SHM, Medical Historical Library, YML 114


Monday, October 5

“Einstein on the Coast of Bohemia"

Michael Gordin

Princeton University

Location: 320 York Street, HGS 211


Monday, October 19

"Panic and Culture: Hysterical Suffocation in the Ancient Greek World"

Susan Mattern

Professor, Department of History

University of Georgia

Location: 333 Cedar Street, SHM, Fulton Room L215


Monday, November 2

"'Choose the Corpse of a Red-Haired Man': Medicinal Cannibalism in the Atlantic World"

Benjamin Breen

Columbia University/University of California, Santa Cruz

Location: 320 York Street, HGS 211


Monday, November 16

"Light and Life: Phanerochemy and the Pragmatic Physiology of Vision" 

Michael Rossi

Assistant Professor of the History of Medicine

University of Chicago

Location: 333 Cedar Street, SHM, Fulton Room L215


Monday, December 7

"Doomed to Die? Endangered Races, Science and Modern Settler Colonialism"

Sadiah Qureshi

University of Birmingham

Location: 320 York Street, HGS 211



Spring 2016


Monday, February 1 McGovern Lecture

"Co-Infection and Co-Morbidity on an Epidemic Scale: Thinking with HIV, TB, and Cancer in Botswana"

Julie Livingston, PhD

Professor of History, Social and Cultural Analysis

New York University

Location: 333 Cedar Street, Historical Library, YML 114


Monday, February 15

"Engendering Addiction: Women, Pharmaceuticals, and the End of America's First Drug War"

David Herzberg

University of Buffalo

Location: 333 Cedar Street, SHM, Fulton Room L215


Monday, February 29

"What Are "Total Institutions"? Creating a Global Market for Human Subjects in the Age of Henry K. Beecher"

Laura Stark

Vanderbilt University

Location: 333 Cedar Street, SHM, Fulton Room L215


Monday, March 28

"Dirty Bits: An Environmental History of Computing"

Nathan Ensmenger

Indiana University

Location: 320 York Street, HGS 211

Monday, April 18

"From Plants to Pharmaceuticals: Take Bitter Roots for Malaria"

Abena Osseo-Asare

University of Texas at Austin 

Location: 320 York Street, HGS 211

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, September 25 (4:30 PM) *PLEASE REGISTER BY SEPTEMBER 18 at

Location:     LORIA 250

Moderator:  Rachel Adams

25  Years if the Americans with Disabilities Act -a panel discussion

Lennard Davis

Professor of English, University of Illinois at Chicago

Professor of Disability and Human Development, School of Applied Health Sciences

Professor of Medical Education, College of Medicine

Michelle Duprey

Department of Services for Persons with Disabilities, New Haven 

Friday, October 30 (1:00 PM)

Location:   TBD

"Where the Rubber Meets the Road: Deaf Employment in American Firestone and Goodyear Factories During World Wars" -paper workshop

Katie Healey

Graduate Student

History of Medicine, Yale University

Friday, November 20 (4:00 PM)

Location:   TBD

Mock Job Talk on Disability in Victorian Literature

Natalie Prizel, PhD

Graduate Student

English, Yale University

Friday, December 11

Location:   TBD

Paper workshop on autism, vaccines, and disability

Ittai Orr

Graduate Student

History, Yale University


Spring 2016


Friday, February 26 (1:00 PM)

Location: HGS 217A:  Mad Studies 

Geoffrey Reaume, “Mad People’s History”, Radical History Review 94 (Winter, 2006): 170-182. 

Geoffrey Reaume, “Lunatic to Patient to Person: Nomenclature in Psychiatric History and the Influence of Patients’ Activism in North America,” International Journal of Law and Psychiatry 25 (2002): 405-426. 

Peter Beresford, "What Have Madness and Psychiatric System Survivors Got to Do with Disability and Disability Studies? Disability & Society 15:1 (January 2000): 167-172. 


Wednesday, March 2 (7:00 PM)

Location: Hope 110

Screening and discussion of Children of a Lesser God (planned as programming for the Deafness exhibit, but it's definitely relevant for the Working Group too)


Friday, March 4 (2:00 PM)

Location: Fulton Room (2nd floor, 333 Cedar Street)

Talk by Prof. Laura Mauldin (UConn) on the history and ethics of cochlear implants


Friday, April 1 (1:00 PM)

Meeting to workshop papers by Ittai and Natalie


Friday, April 22 (1:00 PM)

Cyborgs, with selections from:  

Chorost, Michael. Rebuilt: How Becoming Part Computer Made Me More Human (Boston: Houghton Mifflin, 2005).

Ott, Katherine, David Serlin, and Stephen Mihm, eds. Artificial Parts and Practical Lives: Modern Histories of Prosthetics (New York: NYU Press, 2002).

Haraway, Donna. "A cyborg manifesto: science, technology, and socialist-feminism in the late twentieth century." Simians, cyborgs and women: The reinvention of nature (New York: Routledge, 1991), pp. 149-181.

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 2015

Monday, September 28

“Writing: Between Popular Science and the History of Science and Medicine” 

Carl Zimmer 

*Note that this week there will be pre-circulated readings, rather than the conventional paper draft. 


Monday, October 12

"Being an Apothecary in Sixteenth-Century Bologna: Credit, Artisanal Experience, and Religiosity"

 Barbara Di Gennaro

 Commentator: TBD

Monday, October 26

“Acclimating for Empire: Southern Medicine, Colonial Medicine, and U.S. Imperialism, 1840-1860”   

Liana Di Marco

Commentator: Laurel Waycott

Monday, November 9

“The Ontology of Violence: Disappearance and the Laboratory in Cold War Argentina” 

Marco Ramos

CommentatorTess Lanzarotta

Monday, November 30

“Haunting Biology: Indigeneity and Human Biology in Australia Since the 1960s” 

Emma Kowal

Commentator: TBD

Spring 2016

Monday, February 22

Holmes discussion and faculty research updates.

Monday, March 7 “Visit Day”

“The Problem of Colo, or the Color Problem? American Dermatology, Melanin, and Metrics of Liberation”

J. Cecilia Cardenas-Navia

Monday, April 25


Screening with Peter Galison and Robb Moss

Monday, May 2

“Finding Yttrium: Johan Gadolin and the Development of a Discovery"

Charlotte Abney Salomon

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

We are delighted to announce the formation of a new group for the 2015-16 academic year: the 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.

We will meet on Wednesday nights at 6:30 pm in the Fulton Room in Sterling Hall of Medicine. A dinner (Nica’s pasta!) will be served. This semester we have a terrific line-up of readings and visiting professors that touch on the theme of “Minds and Brains.”

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 Marco Ramos at and Henry Cowles at

For Spring 2016, the HHH group will explore historical perspectives on the issues of Social Justice and Race in Medicine. We hope to bring history into productive dialogue with ongoing discussions around these topics happening at Yale today. 

Thursday, February 4

Readings and discussion on Psychiatry, Race, and Colonialism. Selections from W.E.B. Dubois on "double consciousness" and Frantz Fanon, Black Skin, White Masks.

Thursday, February 18


Elizabeth Lunbeck

Harvard University

Wednesday, February 24

Readings and discussion on The Psychology of Prejudice and Trigerring. Selections from Chester Pierce, Gordon Allport, The Nature of Prejudice, and Greg Lukianoff and Jonathan Haidt, "Coddling of the American Mind" published in The Atlantic last year.

Thursday, March 10


Leena Akhtar

Harvard University

Thursday, March 31

"Psychiatry as 'Applied Neuroscience': New Solutions and New Problems"

Kathryn Tabb

Columbia University

Wednesday, April 20

Readings and discussion on Racism, Activism, and the Clinic. Selections from Fitzhugh Mullan, White Coat, Clenched Fist and Joanthan Metzl, Protest Psychosis.