Participant Info

First Name
Last Name
De Montfort University
Website URL
photography, photographic history, history of medicine, medical humanities, history of emotions, history of experience, gender history, cultural history, medical photography, First World War
Additional Contact Information

Personal Info

About Me

I’m a specialist in photographic history, history of medicine and medical humanities, history of emotions and the cultural history of war. After finishing my degree in Philosophy at the Universidad Autónoma de Madrid (UAM), I specialised in the history of sciences. My PhD, awarded in 2012 (UAM), examined how photographic practices in First World War France shaped ideas and experiences of death at war. During her doctoral years, I developed great interest in photographic history, the history of the body and the history of emotions, and was fascinated by medical photography.

In 2014, I joined the PHRC as a Wellcome Trust Research Fellow. My postdoctoral project focused on photography and emotions in psychology and theatre at the turn of the nineteenth century in France. She has published on this topic in History of the Human Sciences (2015), Fotogeschichte (2016) and Media History (2018), and has edited with Dr Dolores Martin Moruno the collective volume on Emotional Bodies. Studies on the Historical Performativity of Emotions.

My first monograph, Picturing the Western Front. Photography, Practices and Experiences in First World War France will be published by Manchester University Press in 2021. It examines how photographic practices articulated war experiences.

My new project, Photography and the Making of the Medical Sciences in France, 1860-1914, has been awarded a British Academy Small Research Grant, and will be published as a monograph with Palgrave, in the series ‘Medicine and Biomedical Sciences in Modern History’.

Recent Publications


Dolores Martin Moruno & Beatriz Pichel (eds) Bodies. Studies on the Performativity of Emotions (Urbana: University of Illinois, 2019)

Pichel, Picturing the Western Front. Photography, Practices and Experiences in First World War France. Manchester: Manchester University Press, 2021.

Pichel, Photography and the Making of Modern Medicine in France. Palgrave, 2022.

Selected Articles

Pichel, “Reading Photography in French Nineteenth-Century Journals”, Media History, Special Issue “Working with Nineteenth-Century Medical and Health Periodicals”, 25:1, 2019, pp. 51-69 Open Access:

Pichel, “Les Gueules Cassées: Photography and the Making of Disfigurement”, Journal of War and Culture Studies Special Issue “Assessing the Legacy of the Gueules Cassées: From surgery to art”. 10 (1), 2017, pp. 82-99

Pichel, “From Facial Expressions to Bodily Gestures: Photography, Passions and Movement in Nineteenth-Century Sciences in France”, History of the Human Sciences, vol 29 (1), 2016, 27-48. Open Access:


Media Coverage
Country Focus
Expertise by Geography
France, Western Europe
Expertise by Chronology
19th century, 20th century
Expertise by Topic
Material Culture, Medicine, Science, World War I