Participant Info

First Name
Olivia
Last Name
Weisser
Affiliation
University of Massachusetts Boston
Website URL
https://www.umb.edu/academics/cla/faculty/olivia_weisser
Keywords
history of medicine, gender and sexuality, health and healing, history of the body, disease, early modern, British history
Additional Contact Information

Personal Info

Photo
About Me

Olivia Weisser’s research focuses on health, healing, and the body in Britain in the 1500s-1700s. Her first book, Ill Composed (Yale, 2015), examined how gender shaped patients’ perceptions of sickness in the 1600s and 1700s. The book was a finalist for the 2015 Berkshire Conference of Women Historians Book Award and short-listed for a 2016 British Medical Association Book Award.

She is currently working on a new book on the history of venereal diseaseThis research focuses on a group of venereal specialists living and working in London in the early 1700s. While centered on a single disease, the project tells a broader story about life in the city, everyday beliefs about sexuality, medical retailing, and clinical practice.

Recent Publications

Books

Ill Composed: Sickness, Gender, and Belief in Early Modern England (New Haven: Yale University Press, 2015; paperback 2016).

The Secret Disease: Sex, Sin, and Medicine in Early Modern London, book manuscript in progress.

Articles

“Treating the Secret Disease: Sex, Sin, and Authority in 18th-Century Venereal Cases,” Bulletin of the History of Medicine 91 (2017): 685-712.

“Grieved and Disordered: Gender and Emotion in Early Modern Patient Narratives,” Journal of Medieval and Early Modern Studies 43 (2013): 247-273.

“Boils, Pushes, and Wheals: Reading Bumps on the Body in Early Modern England,” Social History of Medicine 22 (2009): 321-339.

Book Chapters

“Affective Responses to Illness and Death,” in The Routledge History of Women in Early Modern Europe, ed. Amanda Capern (Routledge Press, expected 2018).

“Poxt and Clapt Together: Sexual Misbehavior in Early Modern Cases of Venereal Disease,” in The Hidden Affliction: Sex, Disease and Infertility in History, ed. Simon Szeter (University of Rochester Press, expected 2018).

“A Cultural History of Disease from the Patient’s Perspective,” in A Cultural History of Medicine in the Renaissance (1450-1650), vol. 3, eds. Elaine Leong and Claudia Stein (Berg/Bloomsbury, expected 2018).

Media Coverage
Country Focus
Expertise by Geography
United Kingdom
Expertise by Chronology
17th century, 18th century, Early Modern
Expertise by Topic
Gender, Medicine, Sexuality