UMass Boston

Olivia Weisser

Grad Prog Dir/Assoc Professor
Graduate Program Director
McCormack Hall, Floor 04


I joined the History Department at the University of Massachusetts Boston in 2012, after earning a PhD in the History of Medicine from Johns Hopkins University in 2010 and teaching writing at Princeton University for two years. My research focuses on health, healing, medicine, and the body in early modern England.

Area of Expertise

History of medicine; early modern Europe; British history; history of gender and sexuality


PhD (History of Medicine) Johns Hopkins University
BA (History) Wesleyan University

Professional Publications & Contributions


Journal Articles

Book Chapters

Additional Information

My first book, Ill Composed, examined how gender shaped patients’ perceptions in the 1600s and 1700s. The book was a finalist for the Berkshire Conference of Women Historians Book Award and short-listed for a British Medical Association Book Award.

I am currently working on a new book on venereal disease in the 1600s and 1700s. The project focuses on a group of particularly vocal and vindictive venereal specialists who were living and working in London in the early eighteenth century. Although it is centered on a single disease, the book tells a broader story about urban life, everyday ideas about sexuality, medical retailing, and clinical practice. I am also editing a book under contract with Routledge Press that provides an introduction to early modern medicine and primary source analysis. I am grateful to have received fellowships from the National Endowment for the Humanities, American Historical Association, Institute of Historical Research, and Huntington Library, among others.


  • Leeches to Lasers: Medicine and Health in America (HIST 171)
  • Health and Healing in Early Modern Europe (HIST 314)
  • Shakespeare’s London (HIST 322)
  • Gender, Sex, and Society (1600-1800) (HIST 481)
  • Pandemics (HIST 681)
  • Women’s Health and Healing (HIST 632)