Clare Griffin

Postdoctoral Fellow
Postdoctoral Fellows are early career scholars who are ordinarily no more than five years past the granting of the doctorate and who are financed in part or in whole by the MPIWG. These scholars carry minor responsibilities (no more than 10% of their time) within their research unit.
Department II
September 1, 2015 to August 31, 2017

I am a historian of science and medicine in early modern Russia, currently working on a project on the early modern global medical drugs' trade and the Russian state. For this project I am examining Russian trade documents, medical books, prescriptions and witchcraft trials involving herbs, to trace the history of medical drugs in Russia from 1550 to 1750. Russia is the center of this project, but as many drugs and medical books were imported, I also use trade records and medical texts from England, the Netherlands and Germany. The drugs I have come across are even more geographically expansive: by the seventeenth century, drugs arrived in Moscow from around the Russian empire, from East Asia, and even from the Americas.

I received my PhD from the School of Slavonic and East European Studies, University of London, with a dissertation on medical knowledge at the seventeenth-century Russian palace. Prior to joining MPIWG, I was a Wellcome Trust Research Fellow at the University of Cambridge.

I am also an editor of H-EarlySlavic, an academic discussion list focused on Eastern European history before 1725.

Selected publications: 

Griffin, C. (submitted). Horn of the unicorn: natural philosophical knowledge and the apothecary chancery.

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Griffin, C. (2015). In search of an audience: popular pharmacies and the limits of literate medicine in late seventeenth- and early eighteenth-century Russia. Bulletin of the History of Medicine, 89(4), 705-732. doi:10.1353/bhm.2015.0099.

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Bhambry, T., Griffin, C., Hjelm, T., Nicholson, C., & Voronina, O. G. (2011). Perpetual Motion? Transition and Transformation in Central and Eastern Europe & Russia. London: University College London, School of Slavonic and East European Studies.

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Griffin, C. (2011). Russia and Early Modern European Medicine. Kritika: Explorations in Russian and Eurasian History, 12(4), 967-981.

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Griffin, C. (2010). Horn of the Unicorn: Medicine and Occult Objects at the Russian Court in the Seventeenth Century = Рог единорога: медицина и тайные средства при Московском дворе. Vorträge des Deutschen Historischen Instituts Moskau, 1-12.

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