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New history of medicine book series

April 13, 2011

The Society for the Social History of Medicine (SSHM) has a new book series. Studies for the Society for the Social History of Medicine published its first two volumes in 2010: Meat, Medicine and Human Health in the Twentieth Century (edited by David Cantor, Christian Bonah and Matthias Dörries) and Locating Health: Historical and anthropological investigations of place and health (edited by Erika Dyck and Christopher Fletcher). More edited and single-author volumes will appear in 2011, and the series is looking for more manuscripts, from established and early-career academics working in the field.

The SSHM has a long history of book publishing. Its first ventures into this field were Health Care and Popular Medicine in Nineteenth Century England (Croom Helm, 1977) and The Social History of Occupational Health (Croom Helm, 1985). These were followed by the book series Studies in the Social History of Medicine, a collaboration with Tavistock (later Routledge). Established in 1989, the series published 37 books by the time it ended in 2009. Studies for the Society for the Social History of Medicine is the successor, published by Pickering and Chatto.

The new series has a broad remit. Its concern is with all aspects of health, illness and medicine, from antiquity to the present, in all parts of the globe. Its interests include the circumstances that promote health or illness, the ways in which people experience and explain such conditions, and what they do about them. Practitioners of medicine, nursing, psychiatry, pharmacy, biomedical science and vernacular healing come within its ambit, as do hospitals, asylums, hospices and other medical institutions, patients and politicians, priests and pill- pushers, wise-women and witches, and all concerned with medicine, illness, health and healing. Methodologically, the series welcomes approaches derived from social history, as well as relevant studies in economic, cultural and intellectual history. It also seeks to encourage historical work that employs the insights of related disciplines such as sociology, anthropology, demography and epidemiology, as well as literary, science and policy studies.

The editors welcome both formal proposals and informal enquiries about the suitability of a project for the series. Formal proposals should set out the intellectual rationale for the volume: its main claims to novelty and how it engages with the secondary literature in the field. The proposal should also provide the basics of the book: title, word length, chapter headings, number of illustrations, potential readership and when you expect to submit the completed manuscript. The proposal package should also include at least two sample chapters. The series has a two-stage review process: a review of the proposal (which aims to set out whether the series should offer a contract, and what conditions, if any, should be attached) and a review of the entire manuscript (which aims to determine whether it is suitable for publication, and/or what needs to be done to make it publishable). Books are only published after they have satisfactorily passed this second review. Note that Pickering and Chatto generally publishes books of 80 000–100 000 words in length.

For more information on the series and how to submit, go to the Society’s website or contact the series editors: Dr David Cantor for edited volumes or Dr Keir Waddington for single-authored monographs.

Meat, Medicine and Human Health in the Twentieth Century Edited by David Cantor, Christian Bonah and Matthias Dörries London: Pickering and Chatto, 2010

This collection of ten historical essays explores some of the complex relations between meat and human health in 20th-century North America and Europe. Its subjects include the relations between the meat and the pharmaceutical industries, the slaughterhouse and the rise of endocrinology, the therapeutic benefits of meat extracts and the short-lived fate of liver ice cream in the treatment of pernicious anaemia. Other articles examine responses to BSE and bovine tuberculosis, cancer and meat consumption, DES in cattle, American-style meat in Mexico and Nazi attitudes towards meat eating. Together these papers highlight a complicated array of often- contradictory attitudes towards meat and human health. They illuminate how meat came to be regarded as a central part of a modern healthy diet. And they trace a diversity of critiques of meat, meat eating and the meat industry.

Locating Health: Historical and anthropological investigations of place and health Edited by Erika Dyck and Christopher Fletcher London: Pickering and Chatto, 2010

The ten essays in this book are concerned with the dynamic relationship between health and place. They explore a selection of historical and cultural instances in which the multiple meanings of health and place intersect. Some of these are rooted in materialist or physical interpretations; others preface the role of sentiment and affect in place attachment and illness experience; and others still delve into ontological and subjective engagements that aim to understand how health and place connect with aspects of identity, authenticity and sovereignty.

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