Prof. Mary E. Fissell, Ph.D. - Marie Jahoda Visiting Professor - Winter Term 2018/19


As a historian Prof. Mary E. Fissell teaches at the Johns Hopkins Institute of the History of Medicine in Baltimore (Maryland) where she is also the editor of the Bulletin of the History of Medicine. Her scholarly work focuses on the history of gender, the body, and medicine in the early modern period. Mary Fissell is the author of two books and many scholarly articles. Vernacular Bodies (Oxford, 2004) explored ordinary people’s ideas about making babies, arguing that such ideas were a way to talk about gender relations in Tudor and Stuart England. Her current project is a cultural history of one popular medical book about reproduction called Aristotle's Masterpiece, first published in 1684 and still for sale in sleazy London sex shops in the 1920s.


Areas of Expertise

  • Gender
  • History of the Body
  • Pre-Modern Medicine and Women's Health
  • Cultural History


Course, Lectures and Workshop as Marie Jahoda Visiting Professor


Gender, Sex, and the Body, 1650 – 1830

Compact Course of Department of History at Ruhr University Bochum with Prof. Maren Lorenz

11 January, 10 a.m. – 4 p.m., Uni 105 EG/014; 18 January, 10 a.m. – 4 p.m., SSC 2/119;

25 January, 10 a.m. – 4 p.m., Uni 105 EG/014; 28 January, 2 p.m. – 8 p.m., Uni 105 EG/014


The Extraordinary Affair at Walworth: An Abortionist in Early 19th Century London

Inaugural Lecture at Ruhr University Bochum, 15 January, 6 p.m. – 8 p.m., GA 03/49


Aristotle's Masterpiece – The Young Folks Bible: Sexual Knowledge and Courtship, 1680 – 1800

Second Lecture at Ruhr University Bochum in cooperation with the Department of English

22 January, 6 p.m. – 8 p.m., GA 03/49


How to Publish Your First Article: The View From the Editor's Desk

Workshop for Graduate and Doctoral Students at Ruhr University Bochum, 29 January, 6 p.m. – 8 p.m., GA 03/49


Selected Publications


Fissell, Mary E. 2008. Introduction: Women, Health, and Healing in Early Modern Europe. Bulletin of the History of Medicine 82 (1): 1–17.


Fissell, Mary E. 2004. Vernacular Bodies: The Politics of Reproduction in Early Modern England. Oxford: Oxford University Press.


Fissell, Mary E. 2003. Hairy Women and Naked Truths: Gender and the Politics of Knowledge in Aristotle's Masterpiece. William and Mary Quarterly 60 (1): 43–74.



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