CSHM 2018

I’m going to be presenting twice at #Congressh2018 this year!  My first meeting is with the Canadian Society for the History of Medicine, where I will be discussing the medical care provided for nurses in eighteenth and early nineteenth century naval hospitals.

Word cloud of my paper. I think I enjoy making word clouds a bit too much!

Join me bright and early on Monday, May 28th!

Panel information:

G1: Being Nurses 9:00-10:00 am

Chair: Frank Stanisch, University of Calgary        LI 111

“Nursing the Nurses: Medical Care for Nurses in British Naval Hospitals 1790-1815/ Soigner les infirmières : soins médicaux pour les infirmières britanniques dans les hôpitaux de la marine 1790-1815” Erin Spinney, University of Saskatchewan*

“‘We have to remember there was a past’: A first glimpse of the Saskatchewan Nursing Oral History Collection 1950-2010/Souvenons-nous qu’il y a eu un passé’: Un premier aperçu de la Collection d’histoire orale des infirmières et des infirmiers de la Saskatchewan entre 1950 et 2010” Meghan Bend, Megan Hewson, Helen Vandenberg, University of Saskatchewan


Excited for the AAHM 2018

Tomorrow I’m off to the American Association for the History of Medicine in Los Angeles! I’m excited for the conference, my first visit to California, and the chance to go swimming in the ocean in May. It is also the first opportunity I have to present on my new postdoctoral project “A System of Care and Control: British Naval Medicine 1790-1815.”

Word could of my AAHM paper.

Information about our panel:

Saturday, May 12, 2018
F2. Great Britain: Systems of Care and Knowledge
Location: Legacy A + B
Chair: Jacob Steere-Williams (College of Charleston)

1. Erin Spinney (University of Saskatchewan)
Hospital Ships within a System of Care and Control: British Naval Medicine 1790-1815
2. Stephanie Snow (University of Manchester)
Rationing in a Universal Health System: The Treatment of Renal Failure in Guy’s and St Thomas’, London, 1970s-1990s
3. Seth LeJacq (Duke University)
Bodies Made Knowable: Sexual Crime and the Emergence of Published Sexual Forensics in Britain, 1780-1840

The complete program is available here.

#ASEH2018Tweets Reference List

Twitter Presentation

Further Resources:

Images used in this paper:

Arrowsmith, John. “West Indies.” (London: John Arrowsmith, 1832). Link

“Bag for cinchona bark, Peru, 1777-1785” by Science Museum London. Credit:  Science Museum, London

‘Cinchona plant (Cinchona officinalis): flowering and fruiting branch. Coloured etching by J. Pass, c. 1801, after J. Ihle’ by Johann-Eberhard Ihle. Credit: Wellcome Collection.

Jefferys, Thomas. “Engraved Title Page: West-India atlas: or, a compendious description of the West-Indies.” London: Sayer and Bennett, 1788. Link.

“Johnny New-come in the Island of Jamaica.” (London: Willm. Holland, 1800). Link 

‘Naval officers and men on a ship, dressed in the uniform of nine labelled ranks of the Royal Navy. Wood engraving.’. Credit: Wellcome Collection.

Pariset, Etienne and Andre Mazet. Observations sur la fièvre jaune, faites à Cadix, en 1819. Credit: Wellcome Collection

Archival Sources:

National Maritime Museum

ADM/E/46: ADM/E/46 “Sick and Hurt Board, In-Letters and Orders 1797-1798.”


Wellcome Library

RAMC 210 “Volume of copy letters and reports.”  1811-1823.

Printed Primary Sources:

 Bell, John. An Inquiry into the Causes Which Produce, and the Means of Preventing Diseases Among British Officers, Soldiers, and Others in the West Indies. London, 1791.

Fergusson, William. Notes and Reflections on a Professional Life. London: Longman, Brown, Green, and Longman, 1846.

Henderson, Stewart. A Letter to the Officers of the Army Under Orders For, Or That May Hereafter Be Sent to the West Indies, on the Means of Preserving Health, and Preventing That Fatal Disease the Yellow Fever. London: John Stockdale, 1795.

Laughton, John and James Sullivan eds. Journal of Rear-Admiral Bartholomew James. London: Navy Records Society, 1896.

Lempriere, William. Practical observations on the diseases of the army in Jamaica, as they occurred between the years 1792 and 1797, Volume 1 and 2. London: T. N. Longman and O. Rees, 1799.

McLean, Hector. An enquiry into the nature, and causes of the great mortality among the troops at St. Domingo. London: T. Cadell and W. Davies, 1797.

Moseley, Benjamin. A Treatise on Tropical Diseases; On Military Operations; and on the Climate of the West-Indies. London: G. G. and J. Robinson, 1795.

Reide, Thomas Dickson. A view of the diseases of the army in Great Britain, America, the West Indies, and on board of King’s ships and transports. London: J. Johnson, 1793.

Secondary Sources:

Alsop, J. D. “Warfare and the Creation of British Imperial Medicine, 1600-1800.” In British Military and Naval Medicine, 1600-1830, edited by Geoffrey L. Hudson, 23-50. Amsterdam: Rodopi, 2007.

Arnold, David ed. Warm Climates and Western Medicine: The Emergence of Tropical Medicine, 1500-1900. Amsterdam: Rodopi, 1996.

Bailey, Mark S. “A brief history of British military experiences with infectious and tropical diseases.” Journal of the Royal Army Medical Corps 159 (2013): 150-157.

Buckley, R. Norman. The British Army in the West Indies: Society and the Military in the Revolutionary Age. Gainesville, FL: University of Florida Press, 1998.

Buckley, R. Norman.  Slaves in Red Coats: The British West Indian Regiments, 1795-1815. New Haven: Yale University Press, 1979.

Burnard, Trevor. “’The Countrie Continues Sicklie’: White Mortality in Jamaica, 1655-1780.” Social History of Medicine 12(1) (1999): 45-72.

Charters, Erica. Disease, War, and the Imperial State: The Welfare of the British Armed Forces during the Seven Years’ War. Chicago and London: The University of Chicago Press, 2014.

Churchill, Wendy. “Efficient, Efficacious and Humane Responses to Non-European Bodies in British Military Medicine, 1780-1815.” The Journal of Imperial and Commonwealth History 40(2) (2012): 137-158.

Crewe, Duncan. Yellow Jack and the Worm: British Naval Administration in the West Indies, 1739-1748. Liverpool: Liverpool University Press, 1993.

Dobson, Mary. “Mortality Gradients and Disease Exchanges: Comparisons from Old England and Colonial America.” Social History of Medicine 2(3) (1989): 259-297.

Duffy, Michael. Soldiers, Sugar, and Seapower: The British Expeditions to the West Indies in the War against Revolutionary France. Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1987.

Dunn, Richard. Sugar and Slaves: The Rise of the Planter Class in the English West Indies, 1624-1713. Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 1972.

Elliz, David. “Revolution, War, Empire: Gendering the Transatlantic Slave Trade, 1776-1830.” In Gender, War and Politics: Transatlantic Perspectives, 1775-1830, edited by Karen

Hagemann and Gisela Mettele, 169-187. London: Palgrave Macmillan, 2010.

Harrison, Mark.  “’The Tender Frame of Man’: Disease, Climate, and Racial Difference in India and the West Indies, 1760-1860.” Bulletin of the History of Medicine 70(1) (1996): 68-93.

Humphreys, Margaret. Yellow Fever and the South. Baltimore and London: Johns Hopkins University Press, 1999.

Kupperman, Karen Ordahl. “Fear of Hot Climates in the Anglo-American Colonial Experience.” William and Mary Quarterly 41(2) (1984): 213-240.

McNeill, J. R. Mosquito Empires: Ecology and War in the Greater Caribbean, 1620-1914. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2010.

Nash, Linda. “Beyond Virgin soils: Disease as Environmental History.” In The Oxford Handbook of Environmental History, edited by Andrew C. Isenberg, 76-107. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2014.

Newman, Simon. A New World of Labor: The Development of Plantation Slavery in the British Atlantic. Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press, 2013.

Voelz, Peter. Slave and Soldier: The Military Impact of Blacks in the Colonial Americas. New York: Garland Publishing, 1993.

Warren, Christian. “Northern Chills, Southern Fevers: Race-Specific Mortality in American  Cities 1730-1900.” The Journal of Southern History 63(1) (1997): 23-56.


AAHN 2017

Word cloud for my American Association for the History of Nursing Paper that I am presenting this weekend!  Session information below:

Concurrent Sessions VIC: Eighteenth Century Concerns
Erin Spinney: “Not Less than One Proper Nurse for Every Ten Men”: Regulating 18th-Century British Military and Naval Nurses
Maryanne Locklin: A Look at the Dramatic Rise in Puerperal Fever from 1750 to 1850

Full conference programme available here!

European Association for Urban History 2016


I had a fantastic time at the European Association for Urban History in Helsinki at the end of August! It was particularly great to see how my work can be interpreted using different historical frameworks. Our session “Gender in Maritime, Trading and Imperial towns: European and Atlantic urban Communities, c. 1650-1850” was organised by Dr. Emma Hart and Dr. Deborah Simonton and contained the following papers:

“Gender and the Market Place in the Early British American Town,” Emma Hart, University of St. Andrews

“Fittie, the Harbour and the Town: characterising women’s economic opportunities and challenges in maritime towns,” Deborah Simonton, University of Southern Denmark

“Noble Woman’s Trade in Town,” Nina Lehmusjarvi, University of Turku

“Gender and the Character of Trade in Eighteenth-Century Glasgow,” Catriona Macleod, University of Glasgow

“Gendered networks in early modern Dutch harbour towns. A comparison of Cape Town, New Amsterdam and Rotterdam during the seventeenth century,” Maarten Van Dijck, Erasmus University Rotterdam

“Landward experience of shipping business. Seamen’s wives and their socio-economic agency in Finnish harbour towns, c. 1830-1850,” Pirita Frigren, University of Jyvaskyla

“Sex, Sailors and Scottish Cities,” Katie Barclay, University of Adelaide

“Urban Workers, Household Women: Nurses at Plymouth Naval Hospital 1778-1800,” Erin Spinney, University of Saskatchewan

“Cherchez la femme! A gender perspective in the transnational history of Rio de Janeiro and Lisbon in the 19th century,” Catarina Caetano da Rosa, Technical University of Darmstadt

In addition to a great intellectual experience the city of Helsinki was a beautiful place, and I can’t wait to have the chance to return!





AAHN “Nursing & Health Care History News”

AAHN Mention pt1So happy to have my papers at the recent Society for the Social History of Medicine conference and UK Association for the History of Nursing Colloquium feature in the American Association for the History of Nursing’s “Nursing & Health Care History News!”

At the SSHM I presented “Inside the Ward: Everyday Experiences at the Intersection of Mediine and domesticity in 18th-Century British Naval Hospitals,” and at the UKAHN “Regulating care during the Revolutionary and Napoleonic Wars: Nurses and perceptions of Nursing in the Royal Navy and the British Army.”


Heading to the SSHM!

Tomorrow I begin my journey to the UK for the Society for the Social History of Medicine Biennial Conference at the University of Kent, in Canterbury.  Immediately following the conference I head to Camberley for the United Kingdom Association for the History of Nursing Colloquium.

The full programme for the SSHM “Medicine in its Place: Situating Medicine in Historical Contexts” is available here.  My session takes place on Friday July 8th at 9am:

Soldiers and Seamen: Therapeutic Hospital Spaces

Erin Spinney “Inside the Ward: Everyday Experiences at the Intersection of Medicine and Domesticity in 18th-Century British Naval Hospitals”

Kristin Hussey “Imperial Patients in the Global City: Patrick Manson, the Seamen’s Hospital Society and Networks of Clinical Material in Late Victorian London”

Julia Neville “‘The Wounded Men … Spoke of Exeter Hospitals as Paradise’: The Patients’ Experience of a Stay in a First-Line English War Hospital during the First World War”

The full programme for the UKAHN is available here. I will be presenting: “Regulating care during the Revolutionary and Napoleonic Wars: Nurses and perceptions of Nursing in the Royal Navy and the British Army.”

Congress 2016

Screen Shot 2016-06-29 at 22.34.27

I had a busy time at Congress 2016 in Calgary, Alberta!  On Friday May 26th I attended the Canadian Writing Centre Association’s “Energising (Writing Centre) Communities” held at the Southern Alberta Institute of Technology.  For my work at the University of Saskatchewan Writing Centre I was fortunate to have my attendance sponsored and to receive a travel grant from the CWCA.

The following day marked the start of the Canadian Society for the History of Medicine Meeting at the University of Calgary.  It was as always an exciting, fun, and stimulating meeting of historians of medicine and health.

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Word cloud of my CSHM paper

Our panel “British Naval Medicine, State Control, and Authority in the Long Eighteenth Century,” was moderated by Dr. Whitney Wood of the University of London. My paper was entitled “Carers for the Sick or Drunken Accessories to Desertion? Nursing at Plymouth and Haslar Naval Hospitals, 1790-1815,” and featured a discussion of the dual role and perception of nurses who depending on the pressures of the navy and patient need, could either be viewed as trusted regulators of order or drunken accessories to desertion.  The panel also contained papers by Dr. Geoffrey Hudson (Lakehead): “Not Suffering Saints: Mutiny in the Royal Greenwich Hospital, 1705-50,” and Dr. Matthew Neufeld (Saskatchewan): “The Birth of Biopolitics in Early Modern England: Manning The Royal Navy: 1690-1710.”