Northern Centre for the History of Medicine and Medical Humanities

Fiona Howarth

PhD Student in the History of Medicine
School of History, Classics and Archaeology, Newcastle University


PhD Thesis
Ludwig Edelstein: Towards an Intellectual Biography
My PhD will produce the first intellectual biography of Ludwig Edelstein enabled by the use of his correspondence. It will demonstrate the importance of considering life and work within the same sphere. Furthermore, it will underline the value of using correspondence for medical historiography and the richness of information a biographical study can provide. Reading Edelstein’s correspondence in the light of his ample scholarly output will allow for this. The correspondence is particularly important as Edelstein’s personal papers were destroyed, meaning the former is the most important medium for gaining insight into Edelstein. Ludwig Edelstein’s life has not been accorded the interest it merits. He is an important subject for the History of Medicine due to his outstanding contribution to the field in terms of his work and innovative ideas.  The research will help to reflect upon the development of the History of Medicine, a topic which is receiving more attention but is yet to be given sufficient dedication. However, History of Medicine is not the only discipline this biography will be relevant for. Edelstein was also an important scholar in the fields of Classical Studies, the History of Science and Philosophy, and so this work will help to reflect on these disciplines also. Moreover, this biographical history is important as it will form the antidote to historical falsehoods and errors of judgement surrounding Edelstein’s life. Edelstein’s biography and correspondence also inform us about a number of significant events such as the Nazification of German Academia and society, Jewish emigration, the Second World War, the Holocaust, and the California Oath Controversy.

Other Research Interests
The main areas include:
• Biography
• Ancient Medicine
• History of Birth Control
• History of Dentistry
• Medical Advertising

Curriculum Vitae
2010-2011: MA with Distinction from Newcastle University in History of Medicine with a dissertation entitled 'A "Species of Self-Abuse"-: Coitus Interruptus, Masturbation, and Health in Britain and the United States ca. 1870-1940'.
2007-2010: BA with First Class Honours from Newcastle University in Ancient History and Archaeology

Awards and Funding:
2011-2014: Awarded a joint AHRC and Newcastle University PhD studentship for £13,590.00 a year plus tuition fees.
2010-2011: Awarded a Masters studentship from The Wellcome Trust for £10,675.00 plus tuition fees.

2011: Awarded the Pybus prize for outstanding performance in the History of Medicine MA programme at Newcastle University.
2010: Awarded the Junior Johnson Prize for an outstanding performance in final degree results whilst at Newcastle University.

• ‘The Value of Correspondence as a Historical Source: A Case Study on "The California Oath Controversy”’ presented at a History Lab North East workshop on ‘Sources and Evidence’ at Newcastle University 29th November 2013.
• ‘Advertising Pre-Modern Dentistry: Contextualising an Advertisement for ‘Morgan’s Celebrated Tooth Powder”’ presented at Newcastle University’s School of History, Classics and Archaeology Postgraduate Forum Lunchtime Seminars in 2011.

• In the academic year 2013/14 I provided a lecture and seminar on ‘Using Advertisements as a Source for Medical History’ for the module Approaches to Western History of Medicine (HIS2078) at Newcastle University.
• I will be acting as a seminar leader on the module World Empires (HIS1025) at Newcastle University in 2014.

Conferences and Workshops:
I organised a History Lab North East Workshop on ‘Sources and Evidence’ for postgraduate students working in any area of history. During this event five postgraduates presented papers, and there was also a training session provided on ‘Using Social Media for History Research’. The workshop was attended by students from Newcastle, Durham, Teesside, Northumbria, and Liverpool University.

Other experience:
• I am the representative of Newcastle University for History Lab North East, and I am also responsible for the upkeep of History Lab North East’s social media.
• In 2013 I was awarded a place on an AHRC funded public engagement project on ‘Changing Landscapes: Lord Armstrong, Jesmond Dene and the Victorian North East’. As part of this project I, along with a group of other postgraduates, conducted archival research, produced a museum exhibition for the general public, and contributed to the project’s blog and social media sites.
• I was editor of the 2012 Newcastle University Postgraduate E-Journal for the school of History, Classics and Archaeology.

Contact details:
• Email:
• Address: School of History, Classics and Archaeology
Northern Centre for the History of Medicine
Armstrong Building
Newcastle University
Newcastle upon Tyne
• LinkedIn:

News Headlines

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