New Books Network

On this episode of New Books in History, Jana Byars talks with Olivia Weisser, Associate Professor of History at the University of Massachusetts –...

On this episode of New Books in History, Jana Byars talks with Olivia Weisser, Associate Professor of History at the University of Massachusetts – Boston, to talk about her 2015 Yale University Press release, Ill Composed: Sickness, Gender, and Belief in Early Modern England.  Olivia Weisser can be described as an historian of Early Modern England, an historian of medicine, and as a gender historian. This book sits right at the intersection of all three of these subfields and contributes to our understanding of the lived experience of religion, the lived experience of gender, ideas about ‘nature,’ and, of course, the history of medicine. Through its investigation of the gender-specific ways women and men talk about their illnesses, Weisser argues that illness is a construction, ongoing, that is specific to space and time, age, class, country of origin, race, and, specifically in this discussion: gender.


Jana Byars is the academic director of SIT Amsterdam’s study abroad program, Gender and Sexuality in an International Perspective.