- Arts & Sciences Home
- Dean's Office
- Faculty & Staff
Matthew Newsom Kerr
Dr. Newsom Kerr teaches courses fulfilling core requirements in Science, Technology and Society such as "Plagues, Epidemics, and Infections" and "History of the Senses." He also offers courses in modern European History and British History, including "Victorian London" and "Britain in WWI."
His research focuses on Victorian London society and culture, the history of medicine/public health, and a range of thematic concerns, including representations of disease and the body, urbanism, social class, visual culture, and sensory perception. These emphases can be found in the dissertation he is currently revising into a manuscript: "Fevered Metropolis: Epidemic Disease and Isolation in Victorian London."
PhD, History, University of Southern California (2007)
MA, History, University of North Carolina at Wilmington (1998)
BA, Oklahoma Baptist University (1996)
"'An Alteration in the human countenance':Inoculation, Vaccination, and the Face of Smallpox in the Age of Jenner," in Scratching the Surface: A Medical History of Skin, ed. Jonathan Reinarz and Kevin Siena (Pickering and Chatto, 2013)
"'French Beef was Better than Hampstead Beef': Taste, Treatment and Pauperism in a London Isolation Hospital, 1871," in Residential Institutions in Britain: 1725-1950: Inmates and Experiences, ed. Jane Hamlett, Lesley Hopkins, and Rebecca Preston (Pickering and Chatto, 2013)
Review of Caroline McCracken-Flesher, The Doctor Dissected: A Cultural Autopsy of the Burke and Hare Murders. New York: Oxford University Press, 2012, in Journal of British Studies 51, no. 4 (October 2012), 1061-62
"'Perambulating fever nests of our London streets': Cabs, Omnibuses, Ambulances, and Other 'Pest-Vehicles' of the Victorian Metropolis" Journal of British Studies (April 2010)
Review of Michelle Allen, Cleansing the City: Sanitary Geographies in Victorian London. Athens: Ohio University Press, 2008, in Bulletin of the History of Medicine 83, no. 2 (Summer 2009) 405-06.
Papers & Presentations
"Infectious Disease Hospitals and the Local Politics of Resistance: London, 1870-1885." Complaining about Medicine, c.1700-2000, History of Medicine Unit, University of Birmingham (UK), 2-3 November 2012·"Public Sphere, Public's Fear: London Isolation Hospitals and the Local Politics of Resistance, 1870-1900." Society for the Social History of Medicine Summer Conference: Emotions, Health & Wellbeing. Queen Mary, University of London, 10-12 September 2012
"Pauperised by the Public Health?: Late Victorian London's Isolation Hospitals, Taste and Body Politics." North American Conference on British Studies, Denver, 19 November 2011.
"'An alteration in the human countenance': Inoculation, Vaccination, and the Face of Smallpox following Jenner." Scratching the Surface: The History of Skin, its Diseases and their Treatment, University of Birmingham, 30 October 2010
"Pauperised by the Public Health?: Taste and Citizenship in London's Infectious Disease Asylums, 1871-1891." Inhabiting Institutions in Britain, 1700-1950, Royal Holloway, London, September 15, 2010
"Pauperized by the Public Health: The Sensory Experience of Medical Isolation in London, ca. 1870-1900." Pacific Cost Branch of the American Historical Association, Santa Clara University, August 13, 2010"'An alteration in the human countenance': Inoculation, Vaccination, and the Visual Culture of Smallpox in early Nineteenth-Century Britain." The Epidemic in Modern History, University College Cork, Ireland, November 8-9, 2009
"'Scandalised by the Spectacle of Peripatetic Infection': Sight, Fright and Smallpox." North American Conference on British Studies, San Francisco, November 9-11, 2007 (panel organizer)
"'A Suburban Play(gue) Ground': Contagion and the Construction of Suburban Identity in Hampstead." North American Victorian Studies Association, University of Victoria, British Columbia, October 10-13, 2007
"'Perambulating fever nests of our London streets': Cabs, Omnibuses, Ambulances and the circulation of infection in Victorian London." Society for the Social History of Medicine & European Association for the History of Medicine and Health, London, September 12-15, 2007
"The Spectacle of Infection: Sight, Fright and Smallpox in Victorian London," Rutgers University Department of History, New Brunswick, New Jersey, January 31, 2006
"Mapping and Imagining the Centres of Disease: London Smallpox Hospitals, Epidemic Visuality, and the Politics of Urban Space, 1870-1885," invited to be delivered before the international conference, "Medicalisation of Spaces, Spaces of Medicalisation: New Debates in the History of Medicine and Science," University of Kent, Canterbury, United Kingdom, November 12, 2005 (invited but declined)
"Public Health and the Public's Fear: Infectious Disease Isolation in London, 1870-1900," invited to be delivered before the international conference, "Invisible Enemies: The Cultural Meaning of Infection and the Politics of Plague," University of Zurich, Switzerland, September 22, 2005 (invited but declined)
"A Culture of Contagion: Suburbanization and Disease Isolation in Victorian London," European Association for the History of Medicine and Health and the Society for the Social History of Medicine, Ministère de la Recherche, Paris, September 9, 2005 (invited but declined)
"An Invisible Barrier of Separation: The Social World of Edwardian Infectious Disease Hospitals," American Historical Association, Pacific Coast Branch, Oregon State University, August 5, 2005
"Play(gue)grounds of London: Hampstead, the Heath, and the Hospital," American Association for the History of Medicine, Birmingham, Alabama, April 6, 2005
"In the Air?: London Smallpox Hospitals and the Politics of Urban Space, 1870-1885," Joint Atlantic Seminar for the History of Medicine, Harvard University, October 16, 2004
"Technologies of Separation: Preventing Acquired Infections in Early Twentieth Century Fever Hospitals," Society for the Social History of Medicine Summer Conference, University of Manchester, United Kingdom, July 12, 2003
"Communicating Fevers: The Social World of Early Twentieth-Century English Isolation Hospitals," International Network for the History of Hospitals, McGill University, Montreal, June 21, 2003
"Feverish Communications: Medical Discourses of Contagion and Communicability in Early Twentieth Century English Isolation Hospitals," Association of English Graduate Students, University of Southern California, February 1, 2003