Five Questions: On the Fashionable Diseases Project

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In addition to talking to scholars who’ve recently completed monographs and editions, I thought that it’d be interesting to talk with teams of scholars who are currently working on large research projects, so I contacted the Fashionable Diseases team to find out what they’re currently up to. Since the project team introduce themselves in the course of the interview, I’ll keep this introduction short and just thank Anita O’Connell for co-ordinating this and point out that the Call for Papers for the project’s international conference is still open; please see the last answer for further details. If you’re interested in following the project, Twitter and Facebook have you covered.

1) What was the initial inspiration for the Fashionable Diseases project?

The seedling idea for this project first germinated when Clark Lawlor was researching for his volume, Sciences of Body and Mind, in the eight-volume anthology Literature and Science, 1660-1834 (Pickering & Chatto, 2003). He included an essay from 1786 by James Makittrick Adair (1728–1801), a Bath society doctor, called ‘On fashionable disease’. Clark was, and remains, fascinated by the issues raised by Adair, not …read more