Professor Helen King, PhD
Professor of Classical Studies, Open University
‘A body of fluids? Physiology in pre-modern western medicine’
The notion of a ‘body of fluids’ being replaced by a ‘body of organs’ is widespread in the history
of western medicine, and the female body is seen as more ‘fluid’ than the male body. Yet, despite
such claims, recent work on the pre-modern period has focused on anatomy rather than
physiology. In this lecture Professor King will examine contemporary assumptions about the
history of the body and the role of physiology in past societies.

Professor Helen King is a Professor of Classical Studies, she moved to the OU from the
University of Reading in 2011. Her first degree, at UCL, was in Ancient History and Social
Anthropology; she then held research fellowships in Cambridge and Newcastle, taught in
Liverpool for 8 years, and came to Reading on a Wellcome Trust University Award in
1996. A Fellow at the Netherlands Institute for Advanced Studies (2001), a Lansdowne
Visiting Lecturer at the University of Victoria, British Columbia (2002), and a Visiting
Professor at the University of Texas at Austin (2005). Her history of medicine interests
include her service from 1998-2003 as the co-editor of Social History of Medicine
(Oxford University Press), and membership of a variety of funding committees at the
Wellcome Trust, including several years as Chair of the Research Resources in Medical
History Committee and membership of the main History of Medicine Grants Panel and the
Strategic and Enhancement Awards Committee.

Thursday 27 October 2011 at 6.00pm
At: EP Abraham Lecture Theatre, Green Templeton College, Woodstock Road, Oxford OX2 6HG

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