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Regular version of the site

190068 Saint Petersburg
123 Griboedov channel, Room 123

Phone:+7 (812)786-92-49 

Postal address: 
190068 Saint Petersburg
123 Griboedov channel

Department Head Adrian A. Selin
Academic Supervisor Evgeniy Anisimov
Remembering the Neoliberal Turn: Economic Change and Collective Memory in Eastern Europe after 1989

Gökarıksel S., Gontarska O., Hilmar T. et al.

L.: Routledge, 2023.

Сholera Riots in Staraia Russa in 1831. People and the Authorities: Actions, Motives, Concerns
In press

Belan M.

Slavonic and East European Review. 2024. Vol. 102. No. 2.

Book chapter
The Stolbovo Treaty and Tracing the Border in Ingria in 1617–1618

Adrian Selin.

In bk.: Sweden, Russia, and the 1617 Peace of Stolbovo. Vol. 14. Turnhout: Brepols Publishers, 2024. P. 99-118.

Working paper
The Image of the Past in Ciro Spontone’s ‘Historia Della Transilvania’

Khvalkov E., Levin F., Кузнецова А. Д.

Working Papers of Humanities. WP. Издательский дом НИУ ВШЭ, 2021

Society and Health in Historical Perspective

Academic Year
Instruction in English
ECTS credits
Delivered by:
Department of History
Elective course
4 year, 1, 2 module


Course Syllabus


This course surveys the history of medical knowledge and practice from antiquity to the early 20th century. The course will explore a number of ongoing themes: race, bodily difference, and medicine; medicine and the environment; women, gender, and medicine; the history of the body; the history of sexuality; and the close connections between forms of social order and forms of medical knowledge.
Learning Objectives

Learning Objectives

  • Students will understand the fundamental questions and methods of the history of medicine; they will develop critical skills of assessing medicine’s complex role in contemporary society.
Expected Learning Outcomes

Expected Learning Outcomes

  • Student will be able to read academic literature for seminars, discuss it during a seminar and participate in a group discussion in English.
  • Student will be able to read analytically academic literature for seminars, summarise it, highlight the main arguments, and critically evaluate them
  • Students will be able to compare the views of different authors on the same subject, analyse and evaluate the ideas of other students suggested during seminar discussions
  • Students will be able to discuss academic literature during a seminar and participate in a group discussion in English
Course Contents

Course Contents

  • Introduction
  • Health and disease in antiquity
  • Health, illness and disease in the middle ages: Europe and the Islamic world.
  • European medicine in the 16th-17th centuries
  • Medicine and the Enlightenment.
  • Health, medicine and modernity (1)
  • Health, medicine and modernity (2)
  • Epidemics and the Making of Modern Public Health
  • Medicine and Twentieth-Century Warfare
  • Pharmaceuticalization of Everyday Life
  • Global Health
  • One health
  • Digital health
  • Historicizing COVID-19
Assessment Elements

Assessment Elements

  • non-blocking Participation in seminars
  • non-blocking Short oral or written summary
  • non-blocking Take-home written examination
    A student selects one question from a list and submits a written answer (1-2 pages length, or 1000-1500 words). The essays will be checked and assessed within a week.
  • non-blocking Analytical reading
    Students' comprehension of an assigned reading material is checked through Perusall - for further instruction see www.perusall.com
  • non-blocking A group presentation at the final colloquium
Interim Assessment

Interim Assessment

  • 2021/2022 2nd module
    0.4 * Take-home written examination + 0.15 * Participation in seminars + 0.15 * Analytical reading + 0.15 * A group presentation at the final colloquium + 0.15 * Short oral or written summary


Recommended Core Bibliography

  • Bynum, W. F. (2008). The History of Medicine: A Very Short Introduction. Oxford: OUP Oxford. Retrieved from http://search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?direct=true&site=eds-live&db=edsebk&AN=363643
  • Jackson, M. (2018). A Global History of Medicine. Oxford, United Kingdom: OUP Oxford. Retrieved from http://search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?direct=true&site=eds-live&db=edsebk&AN=1668836
  • Porter, R. (2001). Bodies Politic : Disease, Death and Doctors in Britain, 1650-1900. London: Reaktion Books. Retrieved from http://search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?direct=true&site=eds-live&db=edsebk&AN=440604

Recommended Additional Bibliography

  • Amelia Bonea, Melissa Dickson, Sally Shuttleworth, & Jennifer Wallis. (2019). Anxious Times : Medicine and Modernity in Nineteenth-Century Britain. University of Pittsburgh Press.
  • Faye Getz. (1998). Medicine in the English Middle Ages. Princeton University Press.
  • Laura M. Zucconi. (2019). Ancient Medicine : From Mesopotamia to Rome. Eerdmans.
  • Vivian Nutton. (2013). Ancient Medicine: Vol. Second edition. Routledge.
  • Wear, A. (2000). Knowledge and Practice in English Medicine, 1550–1680. Cambridge University Press.
  • История и философия медицины : научные революции XVII - XIX веков, Степин, В. С., 2017