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Guenter B. Risse

Fields of research and interest:
Enlightenment health and medicine; History of hospitals

Ongoing projects:
Book on 18th century Scottish health and medicine; Book on the history of hospital architecture and design; Issues concerning the role of patients in hospital life

Contacts with journals, newsletters, institutions:
Member of Editorial Board for Medizinhistorisches Journal (Germany); History and Philosophy of the Life Sciences, (Italy); Asclepio (Spain), Health and History (Australia),
Co-convener and member; International Network for the History of Hospitals

Bibliography of recent (since 1993) monographs and articles:


  • (With Jütte, R., Woodward, J. (eds.)) Culture, Knowledge and Healing: Historical Perspectives of Homeopathic Medicine in Europe and North America (Sheffield, 1998).
  • Mending Bodies - Saving Souls: A History of Hospitals (New York, 1999).


  • The Politics of Fear: Bubonic Plague in San Francisco, California, 1900, in: L. Bryder, D. Dow (eds.): New Countries and Old Medicine (Auckland, 1995), 1-19.
  • Before the Clinic was „Born”: Methodological Perspectives in Hospital History, in: N. Finzsch, R. Jütte (eds.): Institutions of Confinement: Hospitals, Asylums and Prisons in Western Europe and North America, 1500-1950 (New York, 1996), 75-96.
  • The Anatomical-Clinical Synthesis: From Morgagni to Laennec, in: M. Grmek (ed.): Storia del Pensiero Medico Occidentale, Vol II (Rome, 1996).
  • Health and Medicine in Wagner’s Germany, 1820-1890, in: P. Ostwald, L. Zegans (eds.): The Threat to Cosmic Order: Psychological, Social, and Health Implications of Richard Wagner’s Ring of the Nibelung (Madison, CT, 1997), 111-130.
  • Cause of Death as a Historical Problem, in: Continuity & Change 12 (1997), 1-15.
  • The Road to Twentieth-Century Therapeutics: Shifting Perspectives and Approaches, in: G. J. Higby, E. C. Stroud (eds.): The Inside Story of Medicines-A Symposium (Madison, Wis., 1997), 51-73.
  • Health Care in Hospitals: The Past 1000 Years, in: Lancet 2000 354 (Dec 1999), 25.
  • Shelter and Care for Natives and Colonists: Hospitals in Sixteenth-Century New Spain, in: S. Varey, R. Chabran, D. B. Weiner (eds.): Searching for the Secrets of Nature: The Life and Works of Dr. Francisco Hernandez (Stanford, 2001), 65-81.
Position: Professor Emeritus, University of California, San Francisco
Address:  2612 SW 167th St Burien, WA 98166-3228, USA
Telephone: 206-244-3448