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Green Templeton College | Oxford

Mark Harrison DPhil, MA, BSc (Brad), FRHistSoc
Professor of the History of Medicine
Director of the Oxford Wellcome Unit for the History of Medicine

Research interests and current research projects:

History of disease c.1500-present
History of medicine, science, and imperialism (especially India), c.1600-c.1950
History of medicine and war, c.1790-1945


Mark Harrison studied history at Bradford University before coming to Corpus Christi College Oxford as a doctoral scholar.  He graduated in 1991 and took up a post-doctoral fellowship at the Wellcome Institute for the History of Medicine London.  Afterwards, he was appointed Lecturer and then Senior Lecturer in History at Sheffield Hallam University, before returning to Oxford in 2000.  He was a fellow of Green College from 2001 and then a fellow of GreenTempleton.  Since 2001, Professor Harrison has been Director of the Wellcome Unit for the History of Medicine, which is a research centre in the Faculty of History.  He teaches undergraduates and postgraduates in History and has supervised many graduate students.   He also lecturers in Development Studies and supervises historical dissertations for preclinical medical students and convenes a Special Study Module for clinical students.

Find out more about Mark Harrison's research.

Oxford Wellcome Unit for the History of Medicine.

Publications, books, monographs:

Public Health in British India: Anglo-Indian Preventive Medicine, 1859-1914 (Cambridge University Press, 1994).
Climates and Constitutions: Health, Race, Environment and British Imperialism in India, 1600-1850 (Oxford University Press, 1999).
Disease and the Modern World, 1500 to the Present Day (Polity Press, 2004).
Medicine and Victory: British Military Medicine in the Second World War (Oxford University Press, 2004).  Winner of the Templer Book Prize.
(with S. Bhattacharya and M. Worboys), Fractured States: Smallpox, Vaccination and Public Health Policy in British India, 1800-1947 (Orient Longman, August 2005).
Medicine in the Age of Commerce and Empire: Britain and its Tropical Colonies, 1660-1830 (Forthcoming, Oxford University Press, 2010).
The Medical War: British Military Medicine in the First World War (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2010).

Edited works

(ed., with R. Cooter & S. Sturdy) War, Medicine and Modernity (Stroud: Sutton, 1998).
(ed. with R. Cooter & S. Sturdy), Medicine and Modern Warfare (Amsterdam: Rodopi Press, 1999).
(ed. with Peter Cain), Imperialism: Critical Concepts in Historical Studies (London: Routledge, 2001), 3 vols.
(ed. with B. Pati), Health, Medicine and Empire: Perspectives on Colonial India (Hyderabad: Orient Longman, 2001).
(ed. with B. Pati), The Social History of Health and Medicine on Colonial India (London: Routledge, 2008).
(ed. with M. Jones and H. Sweet), From Global Medicine to Western Medicine: The Hospital Beyond the West (Hyderabad: Orient BlackSwan, 2009).

Book chapters:

'Medicine', in Ian Dear & M.R.D. Foot (eds.), The Oxford Companion to the Second World War (Oxford University Press, 1995), 723-731.
'A Question of Locality: The Identity of Cholera in British India 1860-1890', in David Arnold (ed.), Warm Climates and Western Medicine (Rodopi Press, 1996), 133-59.
'The Fight Against Disease in the Mesopotamian Campaign', in Peter Liddle and Hugh Cecil (eds.), Facing Armageddon: The First World War Experienced (Barnsley: Leo Cooper, 1996), 475-89.
(with Michael Worboys), 'Tuberculosis in the British Empire, 1900-1948', in Michael Worboys and Lara Marks (eds.), Minorities, Migrants and Health (Routledge, 1997), 93-124..
'Medicine and Modern Warfare: An Introduction', in M. Harrison, R. Cooter & S. Sturdy (eds.), Medicine and Modern Warfare (Rodopi Press, 1999), 1-29.
'Disease, Discipline and Dissent: The Indian Army in France and England, 1914-1915', in M. Harrison & R. Cooter (eds.), Medicine and Modern Warfare, 185-205.
'Sex and the Citizen Soldier: Health, Morals and Discipline in the British Army during the Second World War', in M. Harrison & R. Cooter (eds.), Medicine and Modern Warfare, 225-251.
'Was there an Oriental Renaissance in Medicine?  The Evidence of the Nineteenth-Century Medical Press', in David Finkelstein and Douglas Peers (eds.), Negotiating India in the Nineteenth-Century Media (Macmillan, 2000), 233-54.
'Differences of Degree: Representations of India in British Medical Topography, 1820-c.1870', in N.A. Rupke (ed.), Medical Geography in Historical Perspective, Medical History, Supplement, No.20, 2000, 51-69.
(with Biswamoy Pati), 'Introduction', Health, Medicine and Empire: Perspectives on Colonial India (Orient Longman, 2001), 1-36.
'Medicine and Orientalism: Perspectives on Europe's Encounter with Indian Medical Systems', in Pati & Harrison (eds.), Health, Medicine and Empire, 37-87.
'Disease and Medicine in the Armies of British India, 1750-1830: The Treatment of Fevers and the Emergence of Tropical Therapeutics', in G. Hudson (ed.), British Military and Naval Medicine, 1600-1830 (Amsterdam and New York: Rodopi, 2007).
'War and Medicine in the Modern Era', in K. Arnold, K. Vogel and J. Peto (eds.), War and Medicine (London: Black Dog, 2008), 11-27.
(with B. Pati), 'Social History of Health and Medicine: Colonial India', in B. Pati and M. Harrison (eds.), The Social History of Health and Medicine in Colonial India (London: Routledge, 2008), 1-14.
'Racial Pathologies: Morbid Anatomy in British India, 1770-1850', in Pati and Harrison (eds.), The Social History of Health and Medicine in Colonial India, 173-194.
'Medical Experimentation in British India: The Case of Helenus Scott', in H. Ebrahimnejad (ed.), The Development of Medicine in Non-Western Countries: Historical Perspectives (Routledge, 2009), 23-41.
'Introduction', in M. Harrison, M. Jones and H. Sweet (eds.), From Western Medicine to Global Medicine: The Hospital Beyond the West (Hyderabad: Orient BlackSwan, 2009), 1-32.
'An "Important and Truly National Subject": The West Africa Service and the Health of the Royal Navy in the Mid Nineteenth Century', in D.B. Haycock and S. Archer (eds.), Health and Medicine at Sea 1700-1900 (London: Boydell Press, 2009), 108-127.
'The Calcutta Botanic Garden in the Era of Nathaniel Wallich,' in U. Dasgupta (ed.), Science and Modern India: An Institutional History, c.1784-1947 (New Delhi: Centre for Studies in Civilizations, 2010), 235-254.

Journal articles

'Medicine in the Colonial World', Ethnic & Racial Studies, 12, 3 (July 1989), 398-400.
'Towards a Sanitary Utopia? Professional Visions and Public Health in India, 1880-1914', South Asia Research, 10, 1 (May 1990), 19-40.
'Tropical Medicine in Nineteenth-Century India', British Journal for the History of Science, 25 (1992), 299-318.
'Quarantine, Pilgrimage, and Colonial Trade: India 1866-1900', Indian Economic and Social History Review, 29, 2 (1992), 117-44.    
'The British Army and the Problem of Venereal Disease in France and Egypt during the First World War', Medical History, 39 (1995), 133-158.
'"The Tender Frame of Man": Disease, Climate and Racial Difference in India and the West Indies, 1760-1860', Bulletin of the History of Medicine 1996, 70, 68-93
'Medicine and the Culture of Command: The Case of Malaria Control in the British Army during the two World Wars', Medical History, 40 (1996), 437-52.
'The Medicalisation of War - The Militarisation of Medicine', Social History of Medicine, 9, (1996), 267-276.  
'Medicine and the Management of Modern Warfare', History of Science, 34 (1996), 379-410.
'From Medical Astrology to Medical Astronomy: Sol-Lunar Theories of Disease in British Medicine, c.1700-1860', British Journal for the History of Science, 33 (2000), 25-48.
'Science and the British Empire', Isis, 96 (2005), 56-63.
'Disease, Diplomacy and International Commerce: The Origins of International Sanitary Regulation in the Nineteenth Century', Journal of Global History, 1 (2006), 197-217.
'After Empire - Searching for a New Synthesis', Isis, 39 (2009), 258-268.

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