Dr Ruben Verwaal
(email at firstname.lastname@example.org)
Ruben studied history of the sciences and humanities at Utrecht University and wrote a MA thesis on the reception and dissemination of Chinese medicine in early modern Europe. He worked at the University Museum and Dutch Railway Museum before starting a PhD within the NWO Vidi project ‘Vital Matters’ at Groningen University. His PhD project ‘Blood, Sweat and Tears’ investigated how the chemistry of bodily fluids helped establish a new medical system in eighteenth-century Europe.
Since 2018 Ruben works as curator of the medical collections at Erasmus University Medical Centre, Rotterdam. Now he has joined the Institute for Medical Humanities, Durham University, to conduct his NWO Rubicon postdoc project (2019-2022) on deafness and hearing difference.
The aim of my new research project ‘Deafness in Transition’ is to uncover cultural experiences and medical perceptions of deafness in early modern Europe. I focus on both social and medical perceptions of deafness, which includes both the profoundly deaf and those with hearing difficulty as the result of disease, accident, old age, or changing social and cultural requirements. This provides a new and more inclusive vintage-point to look at deaf history.
In conversation with deaf or hard-of-hearing people and audiologists today, the project seeks to present an eighteenth-century model of deafness as a helpful alternative to reconsider today’s challenge of inclusion. I will set up private-public partnerships to develop a permanent exhibition in the Erasmus University Medical Centre, Rotterdam. This critical space will be designed to stimulate reflection and push for discussion among patients, clinicians, and students.
Department of History
- Bodily fluids
- Critical medical humanities
- Deafness and hearing
- History of science and medicine
- Medical heritage
- Verwaal, Ruben E. (2020). Bodily Fluids, Chemistry and Medicine in the Eighteenth-Century Boerhaave School. Palgrave Macmillan.
Chapter in book
- Verwaal, Ruben E. (2020). Blood: From Humor to Hematology. In Encyclopedia of Early Modern Philosophy and the Sciences. Jalobeanu, Dana & Wolfe, Charles T. Cham: Springer. 13.
- Verwaal, Ruben E. (2020). Een maquette op grote schaal: De campus van de Medische Faculteit Rotterdam. In De universitaire campus. Flipse, Ab & Streefland, Abel Verloren. 15: 83-98.
- Verwaal, Ruben E. (2020). Increasing and Reducing: Breastmilk Flows and Female Health. In Lifestyle and Medicine in the Enlightenment. Kennaway, James & Knoeff, Rina Routledge. 223-239.
- Verwaal, Ruben E. (2017). De traan. In 'Dingen die ergens toe dienen': Verhalen over materiële cultuur van wetenschap. van Gelder, Esther, Jorink, Eric, Nieuwland, Ilja, Rijks, Marlise & Spruit, Alice Verloren. 16-19.
- Verwaal, Ruben E. (2017). Retention and Excretion. In Gelukkig Gezond! Histories of Healthy Ageing. Knoeff, Rina Barkhuis. 98-111.
- Verwaal, Ruben E. (2012). 荷兰的针灸历史 (History of acupuncture in the Netherlands). In 中国针灸交流通鉴. Bai, Xinghua Xi'an Jiaotong University Press. 158-171.
- Verwaal, Ruben E. (2021). Een nieuwe blik op doofheid: Het project Deafness in Transition. VHZ-online (29 January).
- Hendriksen, Marieke M.A. & Verwaal, Ruben E. (2020). Boerhaave´s Furnace: Exploring Early Modern Chemistry through Working Models. Berichte zur Wissenschaftsgeschichte 43(3): 385-411.
- Verwaal, Ruben E. (2017). The Nature of Blood: Debating Haematology and Blood Chemistry in the Eighteenth-Century Dutch Republic. Early Science and Medicine 22(4): 271-300.
- Verwaal, Ruben E. & de Raat, Reina (2010). Verzameldrift: De anatomische collectie van professor Jan Bleuland. Geschiedenis der geneeskunde 14(3): 138-145.
- 2019: NWO Rubicon grant