Site Search
Historical painting of cuban physician Tomas Romay

CULTURES OF HEALTH

Link to EAMHM Conference ReportCultures of Health
Cultures of Health
link-to-cultures-of-health-electronic-magazineCultures of Health
Cultures of Health
link-to-cultures-of-health-electronic-magazineVenereal Disease
Venereal Disease

Research and Publications by the Chair

Steven Palmer

Canada Research Chair in History of International Health

Associate Professor Department of History

 
I have been at the University of Windsor since 2001, and was awarded the Chair in April 2006; the University of Windsor and CRC Secretariat renewed the Chair in April 2011.

My principal fields of interest are:

 
--discourses of health and medicine in the global age
 
--science-based cultural exchange between North America and Latin America
 
--the production of the spectacle of health and medicine at Expo 67
 
--the history of health, medicine, science and technology in Latin America and the Caribbean from the late 18th century to the present
 
--the history of medicine in the Detroit-Windsor region
 
 
New Publications:
 
Medicine and Health in Latin America: A History, in the New Approaches to the Americas series of Cambridge University Press, 2015; co-authored with Marcos Cueto.
 
“New Deal for Nursing”: Windsor’s Metropolitan Demonstrator School and the Reform of Nursing Education in Canada, 1944-1970,” in Julie Fairman, Patricia D’Antonio and Jean Whelan, eds., Routledge Companion to the Global History of Nursing (Routledge, 2013).

State of Ambiguity: Civic Life and Culture in Cuba's First Republic, eds. Steven Palmer, José Antonio Piqueras and Amparo Sánchez, Duke University Press, 2014).

 
Current Research
Among my current research priorities is health, medicine and the life sciences at Expo 67, with a focus on the francophone and anglophone physicians and nurses from the Montreal medical community who were responsible for the health and medicine theme and exhibits at the fair.  I am also preparing a critical edition of the scientific journals of Quebec biogeographer, Pierre Dansereau during his Brazilian sojourn in the mid 1940s.  My work continues on the professional, scientific and political dynamics of the growing community of Cuban-born medical practitioners in the last fifty years of Spanish colonial rule (1850-1900), with a focus on the relationship of plantation medicine and scientific racism to the building of a Cuban medical research laboratory complex and the push for Cuban independence.
 
 
Community Partnerships and Media:
 
The CRC in History of International Health recently launched the digital archive of the Metropolitan School of Nursing, Windsor, Ontario (1954-1974). This is an on-line, digital version of an archive assembled and annotated by Kathleen Moderwell, former Director of the school. 
 
 
For an interview with Steven Palmer about the archive and historical importance of the school on "Matins sans frontieres," Radio Canada:
 
 
For an interview on "Windsor Morning," CBC Radio:
 
 
Coverage of the archive launch in the Windsor Star, including a nice video interview with Kathleen Moderwell:
 
 
A good take on the historic importance of the school in OurWindsor:
 
 
 
Featured recent publications:
 
Medicine and Health in Latin America: A History, in the New Approaches to the Americas series of Cambridge University Press, 2015; co-authored with Marcos Cueto.
 
“New Deal for Nursing”: Windsor’s Metropolitan Demonstrator School and the Reform of Nursing Education in Canada, 1944-1970,” in Julie Fairman, Patricia D’Antonio and Jean Whelan, eds., Routledge Companion to the Global History of Nursing. Routledge, 2013.

State of Ambiguity: Civic Life and Culture in Cuba's First Republic, eds. Steven Palmer, José Antonio Piqueras and Amparo Sánchez. Duke University Press, 2014.

Patologías de la Patria. Enfermedades, Enfermos, y Nación en América Latina, eds. Steven Palmer, Maria Silvia di Liscia and Gilberto Hochman, Buenos Aires, Lugar Editorial, 2012.
 
"Beginnings of Cuban Bacteriology: Juan Santos Fernández, Medical Research and Scientific Sovereignty, 1880-1920," Hispanic American Historical Review 91 (3) 2011: 445-68.
 
"A Canada-Brazil Network in the Global Eradication of Smallpox," Canadian Journal of Public Health, March-April 2010: 113-14, 118, co-authored with Gilberto Hochman.
 

“Toward Responsibility in International Health: Death Following Treatment in Rockefeller Hookworm Campaigns, 1914-1934,” Medical History, 54 (2): 149-170.

“Migrant Clinics and Frontier Science: The Peripheral Origins of International Health, 1840-1914,” Bulletin of the History of Medicine, 83 (4), winter 2009: 676-709.

 
Featured recent talks:
 
"Medicine at Expo 67: Montreal's Theatre of Life," Guest Lecture Series, Northern Ontario School of Medicine, Thunder Bay, 9 March 2015.

“Havana in the Atlantic Circulation of Pasteurian Culture”, Meeting of the American Association for History of Medicine, Baltimore, 26 April 2012

“Shifting Sands of Cuban Science, 1870-1933,” Center for Latin American Studies Lectures Series, Stanford University, 13 March 2012

“Battling Bacteriologists of Havana (or Pasteur's Triangle): Glanders vs. Yellow Fever, 1887-1902,” Culpeper Seminar Series, Department of Anthropology, History and Social Medicine, University of California - San Francisco, 22 February 2012

‘Foundations of Psychobiology: Breeding Chimpanzees in Captivity in Early-20th-Century Cuba and the US,” Body and Mind in the History of Medicine, EAHMH Conference, Utrecht, 3 September 2011.

 
 
Featured essay blog:
 
 
 
Other books and journal special issues include:
 
From Popular Medicine to Medical Populism. Doctors, Healers and Public Power in Costa Rica, 1800-1940. Duke University Press. 2003.
 
Health and Medicine in the circum-Caribbean: 1800-1968. N.Y: Routledge, 2009. Eds. Juanita De Barros, Steven Palmer and David Wright.
 
Landscapes of Latin American Health, 1870-1970; special issue of the Canadian Journal of Latin American and Caribbean Studies, 35 (69) 2010, eds. Steven Palmer and Claudia Agostoni.
 
The Costa Rica Reader. History, Culture, Politics. Duke University Press. 2004. Eds. Steven Palmer and Ivan Molina.
 
 
 
Other articles in scholarly journals include:
 
 
Steven Palmer and Ligia Peña, “A Rockefeller Foundation Health Primer for US-Occupied Nicaragua, 1914-1928,” Canadian Bulletin of Medical History, 25 (1), January, 2008: 43-69.
 
 
 
Other chapters in books include:
 
“From the Plantation to the Academy: Slavery and the Production of Cuban Medicine, 1800-1880,” in De Barros, Palmer and Wright, eds., Health and Medicine and in the Caribbean, 1800- 1968. N.Y.: Routledge, 2009: 56-83.
 
“El Héroe Indicado (o un Estado en Búsqueda de su Nación): Juan Santamaría, La Batakka de Rivas y la Simbología Liberal, 1880-1895,” in Iván Molina Jiménez eds., Industriosa Y Sobria: Costa Rica En Los Días De La Campaña Nacional (1856-1857) (Alajuela: Plumsock Mesoamerican Studies, 2007) pp. 111-130
 
Steven Palmer, Juanita De Barros and David Wright, “Introduction,” in De Barros, Palmer and Wright, eds., Health and Medicine and in the Caribbean, 1800-1968. N.Y.: Routledge, 2009, pp. 1-11.
 
 
Recent encyclopaedia and dictionary articles:
 
Steven Palmer, “Rafael Angel Calderon Guardia,” in W. and H. Bynum, eds., Dictionary of Medical Biography, Greenwood.
 
Steven Palmer, “Carlos Duran,” in W. and H. Bynum, eds., Dictionary of Medical Biography, Greenwood.

Steven Palmer, “Jose Santos Fernandez,” in W. and H. Bynum, eds., Dictionary of Medical Biography, Greenwood.

 
Steven Palmer and Diego Armus, “Disease and Health in Latin America,” in the Oxford Encyclopaedia of World History, In Press.
 
Steven Palmer and Diego Armus, “Medicine and Public Health in Latin America,” in the Oxford Encyclopaedia of World History, In Press.
 
 

Recent book reviews:
 
John Farley, Brock Chisholm, the World Health Organization and the Cold War, Canadian Bulletin for the History of Medicine, 2010.
 
Anne-Emanuelle Birn, Marriage of Convenience: Rockefeller International Health and Revolutionary Mexico, in British Latin American Research Review, 2008.
 

 
Conference coordination:
 
"After the Interventions: Civics, Science and Sociability in the New Cuba, 1895-1933," International Colloquium, University of Windsor, May 2010.
 
Coordinator, with Claudia Agostoni, of the international seminar ‘Prácticas, Objetos y Actores de Salud en America Latina durante el Siglo XX. Continuidades, Cambios e Innovaciones,’ Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México, México D.F., 5 – 7 November 2008.
 
Coordinator, with Gilberto Hochman and Maria Silvia di Liscia, of the inernational seminar ‘Patologias da Pátria: Saúde, Doença e Identidade Nacional em Perspectiva Comparada,’ Programa de Pós-Graduação em Historia das Ciências e da Saúde da Casa Oswaldo Cruz, 18 – 19 March 2008.
 
“Slavery and Freedom in the Atlantic World: Science, Statutes, and the Seas”, University of Michigan – University of Windsor Joint Colloquium, 30 March – 1 April, 2006, Ann Arbor, Michigan, and Windsor, Ontario.
 
 
 
Other papers include:
 
2009 “Migrant Suffering and Hookworm Science: The Frontier Origins of International Health, 1840-1920,” European Association for the History of Medicine and Health Conferences, Heidelberg, September 4-6.
 
2009 (invited) “Political and Economic Models of Bacteriological Enterprise in Late Colonial Havana,” Cultures of Hygiene in the Atlanatic World, University of Manchester, September 3.
 
2009 “Hookworm Disease and the Genealogy of International Health”, LASA XXVIII International Congress, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, 11 June 2009.
 
2009 “Smallpox Eradication and Cultural Experience: A Connaught Scientitst’s Travel Notes on Canada-Brazil Vaccine Collaboration, 1966-1974”, Annual Conference of the Canadian Society for the History of Medicine and the Canadian Association for the History of Nursing, Carleton University, Ottawa, 31 May, 2009.
 
2009 (invited) “Medical Eclecticism in Latin America, 1900-1940,” Canada Research Chair in Medical Pluralism, Université de Montréal, 13 May.
 
2009 (invited) “Costa Rica en el Siglo XX: Excepciones del Excepcionalismo”, Fundación Ortega, Madrid, España, 6 May.
 
2009 (invited) “La profesión médica en Costa Rica y Cuba, 1850-1920. Una aproximación comparativa”, Grupo de Estudios Americanos / Instituto de Historia del Centro de Ciencias Humanas y Sociales, CSIC, Madrid, España, 5 May.
 
2009 (invited) “Milling Pathologies: The Production of Scientific Medicine in Cuba 1875-1920”, The Martin Wesley Lectures Series, Humanities Research Group, Universtity of Windsor, Windsor, 19 January.
 
2009 (invited) “Eclectic Healers of Latin America”, Swarthmore College, 9 April.
 
2008 “Intertropical Pathology vs. Tropical Medicine: A Cuban Scientist Between Empires”, Seminario Internacional Prácticas, Objetos y Actores de Salud en America Latina durante el Siglo XX. Continuidades, Cambios e Innovaciones, Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México, México D.F., 5 November.
 
2008 “Cholera, Ethnicity, and the Political Geography of State Medicine in Costa Rica in the 1990s”, IX Central America History Congress, University of Costa Rica, 23 July.
 
2008 “El Ingenio Médico: Scientific Sovereignty in Late Colonial Cuba”, CALACS Conference, Vancouver, 4 June.
 
2008 (invited) “The Medical Mill: Slavery and Medicine in 19th-Century Cuba,”, Indiana University, 9 April.
 
2008 “Limpieza de Nación: El Cólera en Costa Rica en la década de 1990”, Patologías de Pátria: Saúde, Doença e Identidade Nacional em Perspectiva Comparada, Programa de Pós-Graduação em Historia das Ciências e da Saúde da Casa Oswaldo Cruz, 18 March.
 
2007 “”Havana Vision: Problems of a Doctor’s Notebooks,” Latin American History Group, Toronto, 26 October.

2006 (invited) “El Héroe Indicado (o un Estado en búsqueda de su Nación): Juan Santamaría, la Batalla de Rivas y la Simbología Liberal, 1880-1985”, Alajuela, Costa Rica, 13 April 2006.

 
2006 “Slavery and the Production of Medicine in Cuba, 1800-1880,” Canadian Association of Latin American and Caribbean Studies (CALACS) Conference, University of Calgary, 30 September.
 
2006 (invited) “From the Plantation to the Academy: Medicine and Slavery in Cuba in the 19th Century”, Humanities Center, Wayne State University, 7 November.