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?
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.
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.”
I was honoured to be chosen to give the 2019-2020 public lecture before the awarding of the Marie Hammond Callaghan Women’s History Prize, at the Owens Art Gallery, on 9 March 2020. My talk “British Naval Nursing in the Revolutionary and Napoleonic Wars” highlighted research from my PhD dissertation and postdoctoral fellowship.
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.
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.
Thank you to Dr. Alexis Wolf for having me at the University of Birkbeck last Friday. A great symposium and wonderful opportunity to discuss the multitude of approaches to study women and medicine! A huge thank you as well to Nineteenth-Century Studies at Birkbeck for live-tweeting my presentation. Check it out in the Twitter moment below.
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
Two Directors of Nursing ContrastedCarol Helmstadter
Nursing on British Naval Hospital Ships, 1790-1815 Erin Spinney
Military Nurses of the Vietnam War: Tenacity, Courage, and LossLorelei Stein
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.