RCN: History of Nursing Forum Annual Lecture

The recording of my annual lecture for the Royal College of Nursing’s History of Nursing Forum is now available online.

This talk “Black Nurses, Ensavled Labour, and the Royal Navy, 1790-1820” discusses the employment of Black nurses in the West Indian naval hospitals of the Royal Navy in the French Revolutionary and Napoleonic Wars. She considers how eighteenth-century understandings of tropical diseases contributed to Black labour in medical settings, how the Royal Navy navigated its relationship with enslavement, and the working conditions of these nurses.

Nursing historians usually examine the period after Florence Nightingale and focus on the establishment of a white middle-class professional identity, like Nightingale herself. But what about non-white nurses before Nightingale?

Recording of my Centre for Maritime Historical Studies Talk

On October 21, 2020, I presented as part of the University of Exeter’s Centre for Maritime Historical Studies seminar series. My paper “Hospital Ships, Female Labour, and the British Naval Medical System in the Napoleonic Era,” delivered virtually on Zoom was recorded and is now available as a podcast! Click here to listen (skip forward to 1:54 to avoid the technical difficulties). Thank you to Dr. Elin Jones for inviting me to speak and the Centre for Medical History for co-hosting my talk.

Nursing Clio “Beyond Florence” Blog Post

I was so excited to take part in Nursing Clio’s ‘Beyond Florence’ series! The goal of the ‘Beyond Florence’ series was to examine nursing history beyond Florence Nightingale in 2020 the Year of the Nurse and Midwife. As Dr. Kylie Smith states in the series introductory post “to focus only on Florence, or to claim her as the most important nurse of all time, hides the contribution of other types of nurses, and nursing care, and it reinforces the white, Anglocentric view of what it means to be a nurse.”

My piece “Black Before Florence: Black Nurses, Enslaved Labor, and the British Royal Navy, 1790-1820,” considers the work of Black nurses in West Indian British Naval Hospitals.

Check out all the ‘Beyond Florence’ articles here.

Congress 2019

Lovely landscaping at UBC

It was a busy Congress of the Social Sciences and Humanities for me this year! It was great to be back in sunny Vancouver and enjoy the beautiful UBC campus.

At the joint meeting of the Canadian Society for the History of Medicine and the Canadian Association for the History of Nursing I was the very first presenter of the conference.

A2: Nursing History, Theory, and Practice

Chair/présidente: Kathryn McPherson (York University)

Nurses and Literacy at Haslar and Plymouth Naval Hospitals, c. 1770-1800, Erin Spinney (Oxford University)

Un malaise flou en héritage: Les fondements de la discipline et la pensée infirmière, Marie-Claude Thifault (Université d’Ottawa)

Une Révolution tranquille avant l’heure au chapitre des infirmières? Charlotte Tassé et le modèle de al garde-malade canadienne-français (1928-1963), Alexandre Klein (Université Laval)

Beautiful flowers and trees at the residences of UBC

I was also fortunate to attend the Canadian Historical Association conference, speak to a publisher about my book project, and catch up with colleagues I hadn’t seen in a while.

HSTM Seminar at Oxford

I’m happy to be back at Oxford for the History of Science, Technology, and Medicine Seminar on Monday May 13th! Come and hear “Women’s Labour and British Naval Hospitals and Hospital Ships 1775-1815” at 16:00 in the History Faculty Lecture Theatre on George Street. Coffee will be available from 15:30.

Audio Recording of A Species of Knowledge Presentation

The audio of my presentation “Seniority, Experience and On-the-job Training at British Naval Hospitals 1775-1815” from the April 5 symposium A Species of Knowledge: Women and Medicine 1750-1850 is now available on SoundCloud! Thank you to the Birkbeck Centre for Nineteenth-Century Studies for the recording. Find links to the other presentations as well as the keynote by Prof. Hillary Marland here.

Joint Meeting of Agnes Dillion Randolph International Nursing History Conference and SAHMS

Program Cover Photo: University of Virginia Hospital operating theater, 1913. ECBCNHI Photograph Collection.

This past week I attended the joint meeting of the 4th Annual Agnes Dillion Randolph International Nursing History conference and the Southern Association for the History of Medicine and Science in Charlottesville, Virginia. It was great to reconnect with nursing history colleagues in North America and kick off the spring conference season with an excellent conference.

My presentation was part of session Session 2A – Military Nursing
Moderator: Marian MoserJones

  1. Two Directors of Nursing ContrastedCarol Helmstadter
  2. Nursing on British Naval Hospital Ships, 1790-1815 Erin Spinney
  3. Military Nurses of the Vietnam War: Tenacity, Courage, and LossLorelei Stein

The campus was quite beautiful as well.

Windy but sunny day so for walking on campus

AAHN: Christy Award

My PhD dissertation, “Naval and Military Nursing c. 1763-1830,” has been awarded the American Association for the History of Nursing Teresa E. Christy award.  You can download my dissertation here.

The purpose of the Teresa E. Christy Award is to encourage new nursing history investigators, and to recognize excellence of historical research and writing done while the researcher was in a student status. The Christy Award is given for doctoral dissertations.