James Kennaway is a Historian of Medicine at Groningen University, having previously worked at Oxford, Stanford, Vienna, Durham, and Newcastle Universities. His work examines the interactions between science, medicine and culture since the Enlightenment. In particular, he has written extensively on the relationship between medicine and music, notably in his monograph Bad Vibrations: The History of the Idea of Music as a Cause of Disease and in articles on musical hypnosis and brainwashing, and on gynaecological and psychiatric critiques of female musical education. He has also written about theories connecting the mind to the digestion, the idea that reading books can make you ill and on Chladni sound figures.
Kennaway, J. (2016). Lebenskraft, the body and will power: the life force in German musical aesthetics. In J. McCarthy (Read
Ed.), The early history of embodied cognition 1740-1920. The Lebenskraft-debate and radical reality in German science, music, and literature (pp. 125-143). Amsterdam: Rodopi.
Kennaway, J. (2016). Two kinds of "literary poison": diseases of the learned and overstimulating novels in Georgian Britain. Literature and Medicine, 34(2), 252-277.Read
Kennaway, J. (2015). Can music make you ill? The history of pathology music. In S. Finger (Read
Ed.), Music, neurology, and neuroscience. History and modern perspektives (pp. 127-145). Amsterdam: Elsevier.
Kennaway, J. (Read
Ed.). (2014). Music and the nerves. Basingstoke, Hampshire: Palgrave Macmillan.
Kennaway, J. (2014). The long history of neurology and music. In J. Kennaway (Read
Ed.), Music and the nerves, 1700-1900 (pp. 1-17). Basingstoke, Hampshire: Palgrave Macmillan.
Kennaway, J. (2012). Bad vibrations: the history of the idea of music as a cause of disease. Farnham: Ashgate.Read
Kennaway, J. (2012). Musical hypnosis: sound and self from mesmer to brainwashing. Social history of medicine, 25(2), 271-289.Read
Kennaway, J. (2012). Pathologische Musik im "Zauberberg". Thomas-Mann-Studien, 49, 17-35.Read
Kennaway, J. (2011). Stimulating music: the pleasures and dangers of 'electric music' 1750-1900. Configurations, 19(2), 191-211.Read
Kennaway, J. (2011). The piano plague: the nineteenth-century medical critique of female musical education. Gesnerus, 68(1), 26-40.Read
Kennaway, J. (2010). From sensibility to pathology: the origins of nervous music. Journal of the history of medicine and allied sciences, 68(3), 396-426.Read
Kennaway, J. (2007). Singing the body electric. Nervous music and Sexuality in fin-de-siècle literature. In A. Stiles (Read
Ed.), Neurology and Literature, 1860–1920 (pp. 141-160). Basingstoke, Hampshire: Palgrave Macmillan.