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New York Academy of Medicine Announces 2014–2015 Helfand and Klemperer Research Fellows in the History of Medicine

The New York Academy of Medicine (NYAM) is pleased to announce the 2014–2015 recipients of its historical research fellowships: Dr. Laura Robson (University of Reading, UK) received the Audrey and William H. Helfand Fellowship in the History of Medicine and Public Health, and Heidi Knoblauch (Yale University) received the Paul Klemperer Fellowship in the History of Medicine.

“We are delighted to be supporting two outstanding early career historians of medicine,” said Lisa O’Sullivan, PhD, Director of NYAM’s Center for the History of Medicine and Public Health.

Both Fellows will be scholars-in-residence at the Center for the History of Medicine and Public Health, spending at least four weeks conducting research in the NYAM library collections. Each will present her work at NYAM at the conclusion of the fellowship.

The Helfand Fellowship emphasizes historical research using visual materials. Dr. Robson will explore how medical works in the sixteenth century used images and texts from Andreas Vesalius’ anatomical treatise, the Fabrica. She will use Geminus’ Compendiosa (1545) and Raynalde’s translation of Rösslin’s The byrth of mankynde (1545) to demonstrate the complex relationship between anatomical image and text and to unite the history of the book with the history of the representation of the body. Dr. Robson holds a PhD in Classics from the University of Reading, UK.

Klemperer Fellow Heidi Knoblauch will explore how 19th- and early 20th-century medical professionals in the U.S. used photographs of patients, looking especially at images and records from the Photographic Department at Bellevue Hospital (1868−1906), the first such department in a civil hospital in the United States. Her research will track how patients and physicians conceived the confidential nature of recording, collecting, and disseminating medical information (an ongoing question for medical archivists and historians). Ms. Knoblauch earned an MPhil in the History of Science and Medicine from Yale University and is a PhD candidate in History, also at Yale.

“Both scholars are working on topics highly relevant to our collections and intellectual concerns,” said Dr. O’Sullivan. “2015 is the 500th anniversary of the birth of Andreas Vesalius—which we will be celebrating with a daylong Festival on October 18—while issues of patient practitioner relationships and confidentiality remain an issue of ongoing interest and importance.”

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Posted on June 17, 2014

Gina Ravosa
Director of Marketing & Communications
The New York Academy of Medicine
1216 Fifth Avenue
New York, NY 10029
(212) 822-7285


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