An interdisciplinary group connecting the history of health and illness with the broader field of medical and health humanities, and including the history of sexuality, the body, the emotions, food and environmental history, mental health humanities, disability studies, arts for health, behavioural and cultural insights in health, and public health humanities. Researchers come from a wide range of disciplinary backgrounds and often work collaboratively to integrate methods and approaches for interdisciplinary analysis of ideas about normal and abnormal bodies and minds, and notions of wellness and sickness, examining how they change in different historical and cultural contexts. Projects address the history and legacies of medical ideas and practices, and the development of public health systems and policies, as well as the connections between the arts, culture, health and wellbeing. The research goes beyond medical perspectives to consider embodiment over the life cycle, patient perspectives, and the broader array of factors that undermine or promote health, from climate change and violence to transportation, housing, and global food systems. Output includes collaborative activities with nursing and medical professionals, community groups, and the heritage sector, and engagement in medical education and health policymaking.



Check out the PULSE Network’s latest research and learn how to submit your project to the network.


Our members collaborate on teaching and research in diverse settings, taking interdisciplinary approaches to some of society’s greatest challenges.


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Call for Chapter Proposals

Conference Call: ‘Suicide and Its Prevention: Contemporary and Historical Perspectives in Nursing, 1880–2020’

Inaugural lecture: “Being Human: The Contemporary Relevance of Medical Heritage”



Manon Parry

Dr. Manon Parry is an academic researcher and exhibition curator. She is Professor of Medical History at the Vrije Universiteit, Amsterdam, and Senior Lecturer in American Studies and Public History at the University of Amsterdam. Read more…

Moosje Goosen

Moosje is a writer and PhD candidate at the Amsterdam School for Cultural Analysis, University of Amsterdam.

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Bastiaan Schoolmann

Bastiaan is a Junior Researcher at the VU University Amsterdam, interested in the history of mental health care.

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