Mona O'Brien

Research title

Syphilis: exploring the emotional history of a pandemic

Research summary

My research explores the emotional, social and medical history of syphilis in the period c.1495-1820. Using the collection of books and pamphlets on syphilis held in the University of Glasgow’s Special Collections as a gateway I am investigating how early modern peoples and society reacted to syphilis and to those who suffered from the disease. Of particular interest is the relationship between hatred, blame and pandemic diseases.

My doctorate forms part of the Leverhulme funded ‘Collections’ project, which involves PhD candidates from across the University of Glasgow researching a diverse range of individual projects whilst working in close collaboration to explore interdisciplinary approaches and methodologies.