- First Name
- Last Name
- United States
- MA Massachusetts
- University of Massachusetts Boston
- Website URL
- history of medicine, gender and sexuality, history of disease, history of the body, early modern, British history
- Media Contact
- Additional Contact Information
- About Me
Olivia Weisser is Associate Professor of History at the University of Massachusetts Boston. Her research specialty is health, healing, and the body in Britain in the 1500s-1700s. Her first book, Ill Composed (Yale University Press 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 disease. This 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
Ill Composed: Sickness, Gender, and Belief in Early Modern England (New Haven: Yale University Press, 2015; paperback 2016).
Republic of Venus: Sex, Sin, and Venereal Disease in Early Modern London, book manuscript in progress.
Editor, Early Modern Medicine: A Source-Centered Introduction, under contract with Routledge Press.
“Poxed and Ravished: Venereal Disease in Early Modern Rape Trials,” History Workshop Journal, expected Spring 2021.
“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.
“Affective Responses to Illness and Death,” in The Routledge History of Women in Early Modern Europe, ed. Amanda Capern (Routledge Press, 2019): 97-112.
“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, 2019): 68-89.
“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 2020).
- Media Coverage
- Country Focus
- Expertise by Geography
- British Isles, United Kingdom
- Expertise by Chronology
- Pre-17th century, 17th century, 18th century, Early Modern
- Expertise by Topic
- Gender, Medicine, Sexuality, Sexual Violence, Women