Katherine Foxhall

Lecturer in History, University of Leicester

I have a BA, MA and PhD in History.

My research interests include the social and cultural history of health and illness, colonial medicine and migration, imprisonment and institutions. I am also interested in maritime and environmental history. My PhD and subsequent research centred on the maritime experiences of convict and free emigrants who sailed to Australia in the nineteenth century. This resulted in the publication of my first book: Health, Medicine and the Sea: Australian Voyages, c.1815-1860 (2012). I have also published on topics including maritime and border health and medicine, colonial vaccination, medical experimentation, quarantines, and am developing work on the common experience of illnesses including scurvy and migraine.

Since 2011, I have been working on a book-length project about the social, cultural and medical history of migraine. My projects are all driven by an interest in how different environments, societies, cultures and life-histories affect knowledge and experiences of health and illness. I am particularly interested in examining who gets to represent ideas about health and illness in different times, places and conditions. How have national and colonial governments used medical rationales as a way to deal with ‘problem’ populations? Whose knowledge gets to appear and matter in the historical record? What kinds of arguments about the past do different kinds of evidence allow us to construct?


  • –present
    Lecturer in History, University of Leicester


  • 2008 
    University of Warwick, PhD