Dr Katherine Foxhall
Wellcome Trust Postdoctoral Research Fellow
+44 (0)20 7848 1277
Department of History
King’s College London
London WC2R 2LS
Katherine studied for her BA, MA and PhD in the History Department and Centre for the History of Medicine at Warwick. After completing her PhD (2008) on the health of Australian emigrants and convicts, she worked at the Centre for the History of Science, Technology and Medicine at the University of Manchester. She joined King's in January 2011 as a Wellcome Trust Postdoctoral Research Fellow. While continuing to work on the modern history of colonial and maritime health, her current main book project is on the cultural and social history of everyday illness since the eighteenth century, taking migraine as a case study.
Social history of health and illness
Colonial medicine and migration
Imprisonment and institutions
Maritime and environmental history
Katherine Foxhall is a Wellcome Trust Post-doctoral Research Fellow in the Department of History.
All of her projects are driven by an interest in how environment, society, culture and life-history affect knowledge and experiences of health and illness. Her first book, based on doctoral and subsequent research, is entitled Health, Medicine and the Sea: Australian Voyages, c. 1815-1860 (Manchester, Manchester University Press, 2012). Katherine continues to research colonial and maritime experiences of health and medicine through studies of colonial vaccination, quarantines, and the common experience of scurvy.
Katherine’s current main research project ‘Migraine and the Migraineur’ is developing a historical account of migraine in the modern period, asking how medical, social and cultural understandings of migraine changed in Britain in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. It will draw on a wide range of sources including early modern household recipes, the personal correspondence of scientists, physicians and sufferers, nineteenth-century case notes, as well as works of art entered for a series of ‘Migraine Art’ competitions in the 1980s. In particularly interested in examining who gets to represent ideas about health and illness in different times, places and conditions; whose knowledge gets to appear and matter in the historical record; and to consider what different kinds of historical evidence – whether images, recipes, medical treatises, letters and clinical case notes – allow us to say (or not say) about the everyday histories and experience of health and illness more generally.
Health, Medicine and the Sea: Australian Voyages, c.1815 – 1860 (Manchester: Manchester University Press, 2012).
Research Articles/Book Chapters
‘The Colonial Travels and Travails of Smallpox Vaccine, c.1820–1840’, in Hilary Marland and Catherine Cox (eds) Migration, Health & Ethnicity in the Modern World (Palgrave Macmillan, forthcoming 2013).
‘From convicts to colonists: the diseases of prisoners and the voyage to Australia, 1823 – 1852’, Journal of Imperial and Commonwealth History 39:1 (March 2011), 1-19.
‘Fevers, Immigration and Quarantine in New South Wales, 1837 – 1841’, Social History of Medicine, (advanced access online, February 2011).
‘Heat, calms and witches in the sky: Interpreting the tropical Atlantic in the mid nineteenth century’. Weather, Climate and Society 2:2 (April 2010), 91-102.
Expertise and public engagement
Katherine regularly contributes to blogs and is keen to talk publicly about the everyday history of health and illness. For example, she developed a ‘tasting’ session on ‘Scurvy, Gunpowder and Limes’ for schoolchildren at Manchester Science Festival, has contributed to BBC Radio 4’s Questions, Questions, and a podcast on migraine for BBC History Magazine (scroll down to 2 September 2011).