Historia Medica Lectures

Bernard Becker Medical Library, in collaboration with the Center for History of Medicine at the Washington University School of Medicine, presents this lecture series on the history of medicine. Past speakers and their lectures are listed below.

Video Lecture

Jonathan Sawday, PhD
63rd Historia Medica Lecture
“Easing the Distressed Mind: Robert Burton and the Anatomy of Melancholy”
April 5, 2018


Corinna Treitel, PhD
62nd Historia Medica Lecture
“Nature and the Nazi Diet”
March 8, 2018


Philip Skroska, MLitt, CA
61st Historia Medica Lecture
“And We Won’t Come Back Till It’s Over, Over There”
February 22, 2018


Lewis Chase
60th Historia Medica Lecture
“Fuller Albright: Pioneer in the Field of Endocrinology”
January 18, 2018


William Owens, MD
59th Historia Medica Lecture
“History of Anesthesiology at Washington University School of Medicine and Barnes Hospital, 1910-1992”
November 9, 2017

David J. Morris, MA, MFA
58th Historia Medica Lecture
“What We Talk About When We Talk About PTSD”
October 4, 2017


Richard Brasington, MD
57th Historia Medica Lecture
"A Brief History of Informed Consent in the United States"
March 16, 2017

Elisabeth Brander, MA, MLS
56th Historia Medica Lecture
"Books and Bodies: 500 Years of Printing Medical Texts"
February 16, 2017


Stephen Lefrak, MD
55th Historia Medical Lecture
"The Living Heritage of John Locke and his Colleagues: From the Enlightenment through Tomorrow"
January 12, 2017


William G. Powderly, MD
54th Historia Medica Lecture
"How Infection Shaped America: Lessons from Irish Famine"
November 10, 2016


Paola Bertucci, DPhil and Stanley Finger, PhD
53rd Historia Medica Lecture
"Frankenstein, the Vital Force, and Electricity"
October 6, 2016


Mark J. Mannis, MD FACS
52nd Historia Medica/6th Annual Bohigian Lectureship
"Shakespeare's Eye: A Study of the Eye in Disease and Metaphor in the Works of William Shakespeare"
September 28, 2016


L. Lewis, Wall, MD, DPhil
51st Historia Medica Lecture
"Goat Gland Messiah: The Bizarre Rise and Spectacular Fall of Dr. John R. Brinkley"
April 21, 2016


Alisha Rankin, PhD
50th Historia Medica Lecture
"Poison Trials: Testing Antidotes in Early Modern Europe"
March 10, 2016


Marc R. Moon, MD
49th Historia Medica Lecture
"History of Thoracic Surgery at Washington University"
January 21, 2016


Luis Alejandro Salas
48th Historia Medica Lecture
"The Licensing Function of Galenic Anatomical Procedures, Text, and Practice"
November 12, 2015


Candace O’Connor
47th Historia Medica lecture
"Harriet, Hirrel, Jessie and a Few Surprises: Earliest Women at Washington University School of Medicine"
October 22, 2015


Ira J. Kodner, MD
46th Historia Medica Lecture
"Medical Ethics and Frankenstein’s Monster"
September 17, 2015


Antonella Rastelli, M.D.
45th Historia Medica Lecture
"Heart to Heart: The Life and Letters of Dr. Giancarlo Rastelli, Pioneer of Cardiothoracic Surgery"
March 26, 2015


Will Ross, M.D.
44th Historia Medica Lecture
"Urban Health and the History of Public Hospitals in the US"
March 12, 2015


Stanley Misler, MD, PhD
43rd Historia Medica Lecture
"The Isolated Pancreatic Islet as a Micro-Organ and its Transplantation to Cure Diabetes: Celebrating the Legacy of Paul Lacy"
February 19, 2015


Susan E. Mackinnon, M.D.
42nd Historia Medica Lecture
"Nerve Transfers: A 19th Century Idea Revolutionizes 21st Century Care of Nerve Injury"
December 4, 2014

Kenneth M. Ludmerer, M.D.
41st Historia Medica Lecture
"Residency Training in the United States: Past, Present, Future"
November 13, 2014


Michael Marmor, MD
40th Historia Medica Lecture
"Vision and History: Looking Through an Artist’s Eyes"
October 1, 2014


Garland “Gar” Allen, Ph.D.
39th Historia Medica Lecture
"Biology of Elimination:  Eugenics and the Consequences of Genocentrism, 1900-1945"
September 11, 2014

Robert M. Feibel, M.D.
38th Historia Medica Lecture
"Paul A. Cibis, M.D.: A St. Louis Pioneer of Modern Vitreoretinal Surgery"
April 10, 2014

Holly Tucker, Ph.D.
37th Historia Medica Lecture
"Early Blood Transfusion: Science, Society and Lessons from the Past for the Medical Future"
March 27, 2014


Sara van den Berg, Ph.D.
36th Historia Medica Lecture
"Cultural Meanings of the Dwarf Body"
February 27, 2014           

Todd L. Savitt, Ph.D.
35th Historia Medica Lecture
"Race, Medicine, Authorship and the 'Discovery' of Sickle Cell Disease, 1910-1911"
January 9, 2014

Robert C. Kolodny, M.D.
34th Historia Medica Lecture
"Unraveling the Mysteries of Human Sexuality: The Masters and Johnson Story"
November 21, 2013

Anne Stiles, Ph.D.
33rd Historia Medica Lecture
"Bram Stroker's Brother, the Brain Surgeon"
October 16, 2013

James G. Ravin, M.D.
32nd Historia Medica Lecture / Bohigian Lectureship for the History of Ophthalmology and Visual Sciences
"Eye Diseases of Famous Artists"
October 9, 2013


Alan J. McComas, M.D.
31st Historia Medica Lecture / William M. Landau Lectureship
"Insights and Impulse"
September 26, 2013

Mark Frisse, M.D., M.B.A, M.Sc.
30th Historia Medica Lecture
"Biomedical Information: Past, Present and Future"
April 18, 2013

Joseph K. Hanaway, M.D
29th Historia Medica Lecture
"McGill Medicine: 1829-1996"
April 11, 2013

Ken Winn, Ph.D.
28th Historia Medica Lecture
"A Cynic Admires an Eccentric: Mark Twain and Washington University’s Dr. Joseph McDowell"
March 7, 2013   


Adrianne Noe, Ph.D.
27th Historia Medica Lecture
"The National Museum of Health and Medicine: a Lecture in Commemoration of its 150th Anniversary"
January 31, 2013

Marion Hunt, Ph.D.
26th Historia Medica Lecture
"An Ever-Widening Sphere: Dr. Martha Eliot’s Career"
December 6, 2012

Thomas Danisi
25th Historia Medica Lecture
"A New Perspective on the Death of Meriwether Lewis"
November 15, 2012


Robert Feibel, M.D.
24th Historia Medica Lecture
"Simon Pollak and Ophthalmology In St. Louis during the Civil War"
April 12, 2012

Robert L. Grubb, Jr., M.D.
23rd Historia Medica Lecture
"Developing Academic Neurosurgery Leadership: The Legacy of Ernest Sachs and Henry Schwartz"
February 23, 2012

Eva Mozes Kor
22nd Historia Medica Lecture
"The Lessons I Learned in Mengele’s Lab"
September 8, 2011


Memory Elvin-Lewis, Ph.D.
21st Historia Medica Lecture
"AIDS before AIDS in St. Louis – If the Shoe Fits: A retrospective discovery"
March 31, 2011

Jerry Cox, Ph.D.
20th Historia Medica Lecture
"Small Computers in Biomedical Science: the developers and their machines, ancestors and progeny"
January 20, 2011

Candace O'Connor
19th Historia Medica Lecture
"Transforming Medical Education: Pritchett, Flexner, and Brookings"
November 1, 2010


Amy Eisen Cislo, Ph.D.
18th Historia Medica Lecture
"Diagnosing Sex: The Theories and Contributions of Paracelsus (1493-1541) to Pharmacological Medicine"
April 15, 2010    


Ellen S. More, Ph.D.
17th Historia Medica Lecture
"Political Change, Personal Stories: 1849–2009 (Changing the Face of Medicine)"
August 13, 2009


Angela N. H. Creager, Ph.D.
16th Historia Medica Lecture
"Atoms for Peace and Health: The Consequences of the Manhattan Project for Biology and Medicine"
June 8, 2009


Barbara Baumgartner, Ph.D.
15th Historia Medica Lecture
"Anatomy Lessons: Reading the Body in Emily Dickinson’s Poetry"
November 20, 2008


Caroline Hillard
14th Historia Medica Lecture
"Realdo Colombo and Michelangelo: Anatomy Lessons from Renaissance Rome"
April 17, 2008


Rebecca Messbarger, Ph.D.
13th Historia Medica Lecture
"Theatrum Corporis: Pope Benedict XIV’s Wax Musuem of Human Anatomy"
November 15, 2007


Thomas A. Woolsey, M.D.
12th Historia Medica Lecture
"Seeing Ideas: Insight from Interplay Between Artists, Physicians & Scientists"
April 19, 2007


Lewis L. Wall, M.D., Ph.D.
11th Historia Medica Lecture
"Did J. Marion Sims Deliberately Addict His First Fistula Patients to Opium?"
November 15, 2006


Marjorie Lorch, PhD
10th Historia Medica Lecture
"Eighteenth Century Perspectives on Language, Mind and Brain from the Writings of Jonathan Swift"
April 3, 2006


Michael A. Flannery
9th Historia Medica Lecture
"Civil War Pharmacy"
November 3, 2005


Stanley Finger, Ph.D.
8th Historia Medica Lecture
"Benjamin Franklin: Pioneer of Medical Electricity"
April 21, 2005


Robert Frank, Jr., Ph.D.
7th Historia Medica Lecture
"Nobelists and the Neurosciences at Washington University, 1918-1944"
November 11, 2004


Conevery Bolton Valencius, Ph.D.
6th Historia Medica Lecture
"Bad Airs, Good Waters, and Healthy Places: Health and Environment in the Nineteenth Century West"
March 23, 2004


James Whorton, Ph.D.
5th Historia Medica Lecture
"From Cultism to CAM: The Rise of Alternative Medicine"
October 23, 2003


Walton O. Schalick III, M.D., Ph.D.
4th Historia Medica Lecture
"Sticks and Stones May Break My Bones: Opiates, Pain, and Professional Medicine in the Middle Ages"
April 17, 2003


Shelley McKellar, Ph.D.
3rd Historia Medica Lecture
"Artificial Hearts: Technology and Organ Replacement in Twentieth Century Medicine"
October 10, 2002


Kenneth Ludmerer, M.D., Ph.D.
2nd Historia Medica Lecture
"The American Medical Student: a History"
March 7, 2002


Jonathon Erlen, Ph.D.
1st Historia Medica Lecture
"Human Experimentation in Twentieth Century American Medicine"
October 24, 2001