Ph. D. Robert Boddice



Wissenschaftlicher Mitarbeiter

Horizon 2020-Project "In Defence of Experimental Medicine"

Didaktik der Geschichte

In Defence of Experimental Medicine: Emotional Appeals and Medical Didacticism in Germany, Britain and North America, 1870-1914

This project has received funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under the Marie  Sklodowska-Curie grant agreement No 742470

In Defence of Experimental Medicine (IDEM) analyses the didactic strategies of the medical establishment in Germany, the UK and North America in educating the public about the benefits of experimental medicine. The period of focus is from 1870 to 1914: the key expansion phase for experimental medicine in physiology, toxicology, surgery and immunology. Educational strategies were important for ensuring the on-going freedom of medical research in the face of opposition from the lay public on ethical, moral and aesthetic grounds. Potential legal checks on medical practice motivated doctors to change anti-scientific opinion through informal educational strategies, involving the dissemination of knowledge, the disparagement of opponents of experimentation, and influence over popular emotional reactions to medical science. IDEM probes the internal politics of the medical establishments of each area and the ways in which they learnt from each other through networks of exchange and experience. IDEM’s objectives are: 1. To explore the pedagogical techniques and strategies of the medical establishment in their efforts to “sell” experimental medicine to the lay public, in England, Germany and North America, c. 1870-1914. 2. To reveal the ways in which these techniques and strategies involved transnational networks and exchanges among these countries that worked to represent an orthodoxy of medical endeavour. 3. To interpret how far medical didacticism in this period depended upon affective appeals, either instead of or embedded into the dissemination of medical knowledge, and the extent to which such appeals were gendered. 4. To analyse the extent to which the defence of medical experimentation transformed both medical institutions and medical personalities into a) political agents and b) public bodies. 5. To assess the extent to which affective didacticism sought to change the emotional responses of both the public and of medical practitioners to the sights, practices and results of experimental medicine.


A History of Feelings (London: Reaktion, forthcoming 2019).

The History of Emotions (Manchester: Manchester University Press, in press, 2018).

Pain: A Very Short Introduction (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2017).

The Science of Sympathy: Morality, Evolution and Victorian Civilization (Urbana-Champaign: University of Illinois Press, 2016).

Edward Jenner (Stroud: The History Press, 2015).

(editor) Pain and Emotion in Modern History (Houndmills: Palgrave MacMillan, 2014).

(editor) Anthropocentrism: Humans, Animals, Environments (Leiden and Boston: Brill, 2011).

A History of Attitudes and Behaviours toward Animals in Eighteenth- and Nineteenth-Century Britain: Anthropocentrism and the Emergence of Animals (foreword by Boria Sax; Lewiston, N.Y.: Mellen, 2009).

Articles and Book Chapters

‘Neurohistory’, Debating New Approaches in History, eds Peter Burke and Marek Tamm (London, Bloomsbury, forthcoming 2019).

‘Experiences’, A Cultural History of Medicine, vol. 5, ed. Jonathan Reinarz (London: Bloomsbury, forthcoming 2018).

‘Hysteria or Tetanus? Ambivalent Embodiments and the Authenticity of Pain’, Emotional Bodies: Studies on the Historical Performativity of Emotions, eds. Dolores Martin Moruno and Beatriz Pichel (Urbana-Champaign: University of Illinois Press, forthcoming 2018).

‘Bestiality in a Time of Smallpox: Dr Jenner and the “Modern Chimera”’, Writing Creaturely Lives, eds. Dominik Ohrem and Roman Bartosch (Houndmills: Palgrave, forthcoming 2018).

‘The History of Emotions: Past, Present, Future’, Revista de Estudios Sociales (forthcoming, 2017).

‘The History of Emotions’, New Directions in Social and Cultural History, ed. Lucy Noakes (London: Bloomsbury, forthcoming 2017).

‘Medical and Scientific Understandings’, A Cultural History of the Emotions, vol. 5, ed. Susan Matt (London: Bloomsbury, forthcoming 2017).

(with Stephanie Olsen) ‘Styling Emotions History’, Journal of Social History (2017).

‘Vaccination, Fear and Historical Relevance’, History Compass, 14 (2016).

‘Hurt Feelings?’, Pain and Emotion in Modern History (Houndmills: Palgrave MacMillan, 2014).

‘The Affective Turn: Historicising the Emotions’, Psychology and History: Interdisciplinary Explorations, eds. Cristian Tileagă and Jovan Byford (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2014).

‘German Methods, English Morals: Physiological Networks and the Question of Callousness, c.1870-1881’, Anglo-German Scholarly Relations in the Long Nineteenth Century, eds. Heather Ellis and Ulrike Kirchberger (Leiden and Boston: Brill, 2014).

‘Four Stages of Cruelty? Institutionalizing Humanity to Animals in the English Media, c.1750-1840’, Mediale Konstruktionen, ed. W. Behringer (Studien zur Mediengeschichte, vol. 1, Korb: Didymos-Verlag, 2013).

‘Species of Compassion: Aesthetics, Anaesthetics and Pain in the Physiological Laboratory’, 19: Interdisciplinary Studies in the Long Nineteenth Century, 15 (2012) <>.

‘The Historical Animal Mind: “Sagacity” in Nineteenth-Century Britain’, Experiencing Animals: Encounters between Animal and Human Minds, eds. Robert W. Mitchell and Julie Smith, (New York: Columbia University Press, 2012).

‘The End of Anthropocentrism’, Anthropocentrism: Humans, Animals, Environments, ed. Rob Boddice (Leiden and Boston: Brill, 2011).

‘The Manly Mind? Re-visiting the Victorian “Sex in Brain” Debate’, Gender and History, 23:2 (2011): 321-40.

‘Vivisecting Major: A Victorian Gentleman Scientist Defends Animal Experimentation, 1876-85’, Isis, 102:2 (2011): 215-37.

‘The Moral Status of Animals and the Historical Human Cachet’, JAC: A Journal of Rhetoric, Culture and Politics, 30:3-4 (2010).

‘In Loco Parentis: Public School Authority, Cricket and Manly Character, 1855-62’, Gender and Education, 21:2 (2009) 159-72.

‘Forgotten Antecedents: Entrepreneurship and the Social in History’, An Introduction to Social Entrepreneurship: Voices, Preconditions, Contexts, ed. Rafael Ziegler (Cheltenham: Edward Elgar Press, 2009). 

‘Manliness and the “Morality of Field Sports”: E.A. Freeman and Anthony Trollope, 1869-71’, The Historian, 70:1 (2008) 1-29.

OSA Geschichte