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Elizabeth Yale

History of Science and Medicine
History of the Book
Early Modern Europe
British History
111 Schaeffer Hall
Office Hours:
Tu/Th: 11:15am-12:15pm; W: 1:00pm-2:00pm
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Elizabeth Yale is a historian of science and the book in the early modern world. She received her PhD in the history of science from Harvard University in 2008. She has previously taught at Harvard and Western Carolina University. She joined the History Department at the University of Iowa in 2017. Yale is the author of Sociable Knowledge: Natural History and the Nation in Early Modern Britain (University of Pennsylvania Press, 2016). She is currently working on a project tracing the afterlives of early modern scientific and medical papers, including their archiving, posthumous publication, and destruction. In tracing these afterlives, this project reveals the roles of families, especially women, in the creation and public communication of scientific and medical knowledge. This material and cultural history of papers also sheds new light on one of the key transformations of the modern world: the emergence of natural science as an activity undertaken towards the public good and of scientists as public figures.


Dr. Yale teaches courses on a number of topics in early modern history, including the history of science and medicine, book history, women and gender, and British history. In her courses, she seeks to set European history in its broader global contexts. She also teaches courses in the material analysis of early modern print and manuscript texts through the University of Iowa Center for the Book. Specific courses include:

  • HIST:1010  History Matters -- Science, Discovery, and Trade, 1200-1800
  • HIST:1402  Western Civilization II (Early Modern World)
  • HIST:4431  Early Modern England
  • HIST:4427  Society and Gender in Europe 1200-1789
  • HIST:4920  The Transition from Manuscript to Print
  • UICB:4930/HIST:4430  Topics in Material Analysis -- The Material Book in the Early Modern World