Leeds Centre for Medical Humanities

An interdisciplinary collaboration between the Faculties of Arts and Medicine & Health at the University of Leeds

Dr James F Stark

University Academic Fellow in Medical Humanities

+44 (0)113 343 2021

James F. Stark’s main area of research is in the history of medicine since 1850. He completed undergraduate study at Cambridge University and postgraduate work at the Universities of Manchester and Leeds. His doctoral thesis, supported by an AHRC Collaborative Doctoral Award, focused on the appearance and social role of anthrax in Bradford during period from 1878 to 1919. He has published on factory regulation in Victorian Britain, the visual culture of external anthrax, and the global history of disease identities. One of the major themes of his work is the relationship between bacteriology, sanitation and public health, although he is also interested in examining the importance of “place” for scientific, medical and technological endeavour.

His current research focuses on the role of patenting, ownership, and the marketplace in early twentieth-century medicine and healthcare, the practice of chemical disinfection in British homes in the age of germ theories, and the urban-rural relationship surrounding the supply of fresh water to Leeds in the nineteenth century.

Previous post-doctoral research included an AHRC-funded Knowledge Transfer Fellowship, applying recent research on patenting in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries to medical technologies in conjunction with Professor Graeme Gooday and the Thackray Museum. This involved carrying out audience consultation events, writing public-facing object biographies, and running training sessions for museum staff, as well as carrying out research into objects in the collections, particularly the Marconi Otophone, Hanovia-Kromayer UV Lamp, and Overbeck Rejuvenator.

Research Interests:

– History of modern medicine since 1850, especially infectious disease and public health

– Philosophy of medicine and disease identities

– History of medical technologies and patenting

– Visual culture and representations in the history of medicine

Selected Publications:

Journal Articles and Book Chapters

(forthcoming, 2013) “‘Classic, Characteristic or Typical’: The Skin and the Visual Properties of External Anthrax Lesions’, in Reinarz, J. & Siena, K. (eds.), A Medical History of Skin: Scratching in the Surface (London: Pickering & Chatto)

(forthcoming, 2012) “Anthrax and Australia in a Global Context: the International Exchange of Theories and Practices with Britain and France”, Health and History

(2012) “Bacteriology in the Service of Sanitation: The Factory Environment and the Regulation of Industrial Anthrax in Victorian Britain” Social History of Medicine, 25:2, pp. 343-361

(2011) “A Poster of Pustules: Representations of Early Twentieth-Century Industrial Anthrax in Britain’ Endeavour, 35:1, pp. 22-30

Book Reviews and Other

(forthcoming) “Review: Allen-Emerson, Michelle (ed.), Sanitary Reform in Victorian Britain, Part I, 3 vols” Social History of Medicine

(2012) “Review: Brown, Michael, Performing Medicine: Medical Culture and Identity in Provincial England, c.1760-1850British Journal for the History of Science, 45:3, pp. 463-464

(2012) “Review: Johnson, Ryan and Khalid, Amna (eds.), Public Health in the British Empire: Intermediaries, Subordinates, and the Practice of Public Health, 1850-1960H-Empire, H-Net Reviews, May 2012 (pdf available here)

(2012) “Medical Classics: O. Overbeck, ‘A New Electronic Theory of Life’ (1925)” British Medical Journal, 17 March, p. 34

(2011) “Review: Jones, Susan D., Death in a Small Package: A Short History of AnthraxBritish Journal for the History of Science, 44:4, pp. 615-617

(2011) “Medical Classics: Zalma” British Medical Journal, 4 September, p. 509

(2007) “Fighting the Good Fight? The Scientific Community’s Response to Anti-EvolutionismKaleidoscope 1:1

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