- Position: Senior Lecturer in History of Medicine
- Areas of expertise: Early-modern medicine; history of midwifery; the long-term development of Western medicine; history of science, especially 18th century; history of advertising; historical epistemology
- Email: A.F.Wilson@leeds.ac.uk
- Phone: +44(0)113 343 3261
- Location: G.04 Michael Sadler
- Website: Centre for HPS external site
I am a historian of early-modern medicine, in which field my main area of research is the history of midwifery and childbirth (two monographs).
In addition, I am interested in the history of hospitals, of anatomy, of pathology, and of disease-concepts.
I also have a long-standing interest in historical epistemology, which has led me into literary theory.
Whle all these have continued, l have in recent years acquired four further interests: the history and theory of rhetoric; arising from that, the history of advertising; the history and historiography of the so-called “Scientific Revolution”; and last but not least, what Geoffrey Cantor called (back in 1982) the “eighteenth century problem” – that is, the question as to the sigificance of the eighteenth century in the long-term development of science – and how to solve that problem.
- Ritual and Conflict: The Social Relations of Childbirth in Early Modern England (Routledge, 2013)
- The Making of Man-Midwifery: Childbirth in England, 1660-1770 (London: UCL Press and Cambridge MA: Harvard Univ. Press, 1995, reprinted 2018)
- (ed.) Rethinking Social History: English Society 1570-1930 and its Interpretation (Manchester: Manchester University Press, 1993)
- 'Midwifery in the "medical marketplace"', in Mark Jenner and Patrick Wallis eds., Medicine and the Market in Early Modern England (London, Palgrave Macmillan 2007), 153-74
- 'Porter versus Foucault on the "birth of the clinic"', in Roberta Bivins and John Pickstone eds., Medicine, Madness and Social History: essays in honour of Roy Porter (London, Palgrave Macmillan 2007), 25-35
- 'Foucault on the "Question of the Author": A Critical Exegesis', Modern Language Review 99 (2004), 339-63
- 'The Birmingham General Hospital and its Public, 1765-79', in Medicine, Health and the Public Sphere in Britain, 1600-2000, ed. by Steve Sturdy (London: Routledge, 2002), 85-106
- 'Collingwood's Forgotten Historiographic Revolution', Collingwood Studies, 8 (2001), 6-72
- 'On the History of Disease Concepts: The Case of Pleurisy', History of Science 38 (2000), 271-319
- 'Conflict, Consensus and Charity: Politics and the Provincial Voluntary Hospitals in the Eighteenth Century', English Historical Review 111 (1996), 599-619
- 'A Memorial of Eleanor Willughby, a Seventeenth-Century Midwife', in Women, Science and Medicine 1500-1700: Mothers and Sisters of the Royal Society, ed. by Lynette Hunter and Sarah Hutton (Stroud: Sutton, 1997), 138-77
- 'The Perils of Early-Modern Procreation: Childbirth With or Without Fear?', British Journal for Eighteenth-Century Studies 16 (1993), 1-19
- 'The Politics of Medical Improvement in Early Hanoverian London', in The Medical Enlightenment of the Eighteenth Century, ed. by A. Cunningham and R. French (Cambridge: CUP, 1990), 4-39
Downloadable versions of papers freely available via White Rose Research Online
History of Childbirth
English Voluntary Hospitals 1750-1850
History of Conceptions of the Body
The “Scientific Revolution”
The sciences of the eighteenth century
Research groups and institutes
- History and Philosophy of Science