Research of Harriet Palfreyman

I am currently completing my PhD, entitled ‘Visualising Venereal Disease in London c.1780–1860’. My research centres on the emergence of various visual representations of venereal disease—drawings, wax moulages, casts and models— and how the theoretical, social and cultural changes afoot during the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries allowed these images to become meaningful and useful in medical and public discourses on venereal disease. I am particularly interested in the role visual representations played in establishing the new medical disciplines of pathology and dermatology in the early nineteenth century. As a historian of medicine I am interested in the parallels between science and medicine as visual pursuits.

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