Elaine Leong
People

Elaine Leong

MPG Minerva Research Group Leader (Sep 2012-Feb 2019)

Dr. Phil.

I gained my doctorate in Modern History from the University of Oxford in 2006. Before joining the MPIWG, I was a Wellcome Trust Research Fellow at the University of Cambridge and a Leverhulme Trust Early Career Fellow at the University of Warwick. In 2006 and 2007, I held short-term fellowships at the Folger Shakespeare Library and the Huntington Library. My article "Making Medicines in the Early Modern Household," (82, 2008) was awarded the 2009 J. Worth Estes Prize by the American Association for the History of Medicine and the 2010 Jerry Stannard Award.

My research is centered upon medical and scientific knowledge transfer and production. My interdisciplinary projects use theories and methods in the history of the book and the history of reading to elucidate practical knowledge and quotidian activities within the domestic sphere. I am currently working on two book-length projects. The first, Treasuries for Health: Making Recipe Knowledge in the Early Modern Household is the first major study of informal "science" and medicine in early modern English Households. The second, Reading Rivière in Early Modern England, uses the story of Lazare Rivière’s bestselling Praxis medica/The Practice of Physick to explore the production, transfer and codification of vernacular medical knowledge in early modern Europe. I am also interested in investigating women’s medical knowledge and practice and how this knowledge was generated, acquired and transmitted. Finally, I have particular interests in note-taking, paper technologies, and household archives of natural knowledge. With Alisha Rankin (Tufts University), I edited Secrets and Knowledge: Medicine, Science and Commerce 1500-1800 (Ashgate Publishing, 2011).

Projects

Early Modern Recipes Online Collective

MEHR

Paper Cures: Managing Knowledge and Health in the Early Modern Household

MEHR

Reading Rivière in Early Modern England

MEHR

The Recipes Project: Food, Magic, Art, Science, and Medicine

MEHR

Translating Medicine in the Premodern World

MEHR

Vernacular Medical Books in Early Modern England

MEHR

Working with Paper: Gendered Practices in the History of Knowledge

MEHR

Collecting Knowledge for the Family: Household Recipe Books in Early Modern England

MEHR

Testing Drugs and Trying Cures in Premodern Europe

MEHR

Treasuries for Health: Making Recipe Knowledge in the Early Modern Household

MEHR

Selected Publications

Leong, E., & Rankin, A. (Eds.). (2017). Testing drugs and trying cures [Special Issue]. Bulletin of the History of Medicine, 91(2). doi:10.1353/bhm.2017.0023.

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Leong, E. (2017). Brewing ale and boiling water in 1651. In M. Valleriani (Ed.), The structures of practical knowledge (pp. 55-75). Cham: Springer.

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Leong, E., & Rankin, A. (2017). Testing drugs and trying cures: experiment and medicine in medieval and early modern Europe. Bulletin of the History of Medicine, 92(2), 157-182. doi:10.1353/bhm.2017.0023.

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Leong, E. (2016). Review of: Weisser, Olivia: Ill composed: sickness, gender, and belief in early modern England. New Haven, Conn.: Yale University Press 2015. Bulletin of the history of medicine, 715-716.

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Books and Media