School of History

HST6385 – Visualising Disease in Victorian Britain

Module code: HST6385

Credits: 15
Semester: SEM 2

Module Convenor: Dr Amanda Sciampacone

This module will explore the ways in which epidemic diseases, such as cholera and tuberculosis, were visually represented in Victorian Britain, and how images constructed ideas about health and illness that spoke to larger issues of national identity, degeneration, and empire. It will focus on how medical illustrations were used to disseminate scientific theories during a period when many illnesses were still seen as mysterious and how popular imagery circulated these ideas to wider publics. The module will cover topics such as how healthy and sick bodies were represented by Victorians, how images became crucial to medical debates, and how new visual technologies led to revelations in the study of disease, and involve trips to the Wellcome Collection and the Science Museum.

Assessment: Essay (2,000 words) [50%] and Take Home Exam [50%]
Level: 6