Epidemic threats and racist legacies
Epidemiology is the systematic, data-driven study of health and disease in populations. But as historian Jacob Steere-Williams suggests, this most scientific of fields emerged in the 19th century imbued with a doctrine of Western imperialism – a legacy that continues to influence how we talk about disease.
Exploring our mental health
A selection of stories about the historical and social contexts of mental health.
Laura Grace Simpkins investigates her relationship with her medication and her mental health, asking if lithium is the bitter pill she has to swallow.
Cracks that let the light in
Rai Waddingham lives with voices other people cannot hear. Here she describes how she has come to accept, understand and calm her voices, and to acknowledge her strength.
How the mental health system fails Black people
Accessing mental healthcare as a Black woman can be a challenging experience. Rianna Walcott shares her story, alongside those of three other women, to reveal the barriers she faced.
Confession as therapy in the Middle Ages
The line between confession and counselling has been blurred for centuries.
Life on the line
Former Samaritans helpline volunteer Katy Georgiou recalls the desperate voices she heard during her night shifts, and those whose isolation she helped to alleviate.
We publish thought-provoking books exploring health and human experiences.
The Greek and Roman Body
Classicist Caroline Vout reaches beyond texts and galleries to expose Greek and Roman bodies for what they truly were: anxious, ailing, imperfect, diverse, and responsible for a legacy as lasting as their statues.
The Book of Phobias and Manias
A History of the World in 99 Obsessions
Plunge into this rich, surprising and fascinating A–Z compendium to discover how our fixations have taken shape, from prehistory to the present day.
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Sexy (medieval) times
Penis badges, the mysterious Office of the Night, and sneezing as a form of contraception – enter the surprising world of medieval sex. It wasn’t cold baths and self-denial for everyone, as Katherine Harvey explains.
Illness and the influence of the stars
Could alien germs from space have caused major pandemics across the world? Taras Young investigates the ideas of a few unconventional scientists who believe this to be the case.
Why we need to decolonise the skies
Astronomer Dr Tana Joseph explores how rethinking way we look at the stars could improve our relationship with our own planet and make it a healthier place to live.