News and events 2014


Congratulations to Fran Badger, whose PhD thesis, entitled ‘Delivering Maternity Care: Midwives and Midwifery in Birmingham and its Environs, 1794-1881’, was passed following a viva on 12 June. 

Fran Viva

Fran with her two examiners, Dr Alannah Tomkins (Keele), on the right, and Dr Tania McIntosh (Nottingham), left.


Jonathan Reinarz spoke at the annual meeting of the Association of Medical School Secretaries, which held its conference in Birmingham on 12-13 June. Jonathan’s talk examined the history of the administration of Birmingham’s Medical School from its foundation in 1828 to the new millennium. Though primarily focusing on the Dean’s Office, the lecture examined the roles of other administrative staff, whose numbers expanded in the post-Second World War period.


Four Birmingham Deans: Professor Brodie Hughes (1974-78); Tom Whitehead (1984-88); William Trethowan (1968-74) and Owen Wade (1978-84).


PhD student Fran Badger has had an article published in the journal Women's History Review. The article is based on a chapter of her thesis and examines the ledgers of Coventry midwife Mary Eaves. The article, 'Illuminating Nineteenth-Century English Urban Midwifery: the register of a Coventry midwife' can be found here



Perfume BottleJonathan Reinarz was interviewed by the Australian Broadcasting Corporation about his work on the history of smell. The programme featuring his commentary and some other recent work in the field of sensory studies can be found on the ABC’s Body Sphere website







Professor Charlotte AndersonOn Wednesday, 9 April, Jonathan Reinarz gave a guest lecture at the Royal College of Paediatrics annual conference, which was held in Birmingham from 8-10 April. His talk, entitled 'Minor Medical Subjects: the History of Paediatrics in Birmingham', followed the President's lunch and was part of a historical panel organised by some of the College's Senior Fellows. The talk covered the work of the first four professors of paediatrics at the University of Birmingham, including Leonard Parsons, James Smellie, Douglas Hubble and Charlotte Anderson, the first woman to be appointed to a UK chair in paediatrics.

Professor Charlotte Anderson


Jonathan Reinarz will be speaking on ‘Cultures of Complaint’ at the new Birmingham Library on 19 March. The talk will summarise some of the research from a forthcoming book which he has edited with Rebecca Wynter. The book, entitled Complaints, Controversies and Grievances in Medicine: Historical and Social Science Perspectives, will be out in late 2014.


Jonathan Reinarz will be posting on the University’s ‘Saving Humans’ blog for the week of 17 March. Why not follow his postings and learn a bit more about the history of burns.

Skin Cells from a Scald

Skin Cells from a Scald







Past ScentsHistory of Medicine Unit Director Jonathan Reinarz is proud to announce that his broad survey of the history of smell, Past Scents (University of Illinois Press), is now out in both hardback and paperback. With chapters on smell and religion, perfume, gender, race and class, as well as a final chapter on scents and the city, the book should have something for everyone. It should also demonstrate the power of sensory approaches to help us look at various historical issues, even the most familiar, in new and provocative ways.

More information can be found at the University of Illinois Press website