Europäische Zeitgeschichte

New publication: Medical histories of Belgium. New narratives on health, care and citizenship in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries

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Medical histories of Belgium
Book edited by Joris Vandendriessche and Benoît Majerus and published by Manchester University Press.

Medical histories of Belgium offers an overview of the Belgian medical field in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. With little historical work on health and medicine in Belgium available in English, it assembles research in French and Dutch for an international audience.
The volume consists of nine thematic chapters, structured around three major frames in medical history: the institution, the nation state and the physician. The chapters question these traditional points of reference by offering new narratives on health, care and citizenship.

They bring a variety of agents (physicians, nuns, politicians, architects, patients), spaces (hospitals, mutual health insurance funds, universities, health exhibitions, conferences) and institutional levels (local, national, international) into medical historiography. Throughout the book, the question of the particularity of the Belgian medical field forms a connecting thread, with each of the chapters connecting medical developments to the social and political realities of the country.


Introduction - Benoît Majerus and Joris Vandendriessche

Part I: Beyond the nation state

  1. Medicine, health and gender - Jolien Gijbels and Kaat Wils
  2. Medicine and religion - Joris Vandendriessche and Tine Van Osselaer
  3. Medicine and colonialism - Sokhieng Au and Anne Cornet
  4. Public health, hygiene and social activism - Thomas D'haeninck, Jan Vandersmissen Gita Deneckere and Christophe Verbruggen

Part II: Institutions and beyond

  1. Ways of knowing medicine - Renaud Bardez and Pieter Dhondt
  2. Medicine, money and mutual aid - Dirk Luyten and David Guilardian
  3. The material culture of caring and curing - Valérie Leclercq and Veronique Deblon

Part III: Beyond physicians

  1. Dis/order and dis/ability - Benoît Majerus and Pieter Verstraete
  2. Medicine, media and the public - Tinne Claes and Katrin Pilz

Epilogue - Including all citizens of Belgium: narratives beyond the profession and the state - Frank Huisman

Timeline of Belgian medical history



Joris Vandendriessche is Research Professor in the Cultural History since 1750 Research Group at the University of Leuven

Benoît Majerus is Professor of European History at the University of Luxembourg

More information on the Manchester University Press website.