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Lady Eaton College building with green trees in the background


Kevin Siena

Associate Professor
M.A. (Rochester); Ph.D. (Toronto)
Champlain College I3
(705) 748-1011 x 7139

Research interests:

I work on early modern British history with special interests in medical history, sex and disease, female healers, Enlightenment science, urban poverty, epidemics and social welfare.  I am currently completing a monograph that explores anxieties about urban poverty and epidemic disease in the eighteenth century entitled Rotten Bodies: Class and Contagion in Eighteenth-Century Britain


  • Venereal Disease, Hospitals and the Urban Poor: London's 'Foul Wards' 1600-1800,  (Rochester: University of Rochester Press, 2004, Paperback, 2010).
  • (ed.) with Jonathan Reinarz, A Medical History of Skin: Scratching the Surface (London: Pickering and Chatto, 2013).
  • (ed.) Sins of the Flesh: Responding to Sexual Disease in Early Modern Europe (Toronto: Centre for Reformation and Renaissance Studies, 2005).

Articles & Book Chapters:

  •  “Contagion, Exclusion and Unique Medical World of the Eighteenth-Century Workhouse” in Jonathan Reinarz and L. D. Schwarz (eds.) in Medicine and the Workhouse (Rochester, NY: University of Rochester Press, 2013), pp. 19-39.
  • (with Alysa Levene,) “Reporting Dirt and Disease: Child Ill-Health in Eighteenth-Century England” Journal of Literature and Science 6 (1) (2013): 1-17.
  • “The Moral Biology of the Itch in Eighteenth-century Britain,” in Reinarz and Siena (eds.) A Medical History of Skin: Scratching the Surface (London, Pickering and Chatto, 2013), pp. 71-84.
  • “ ‘The Venereal Disease,’ 1500-1800” in Sarah Toulalan and Kate Fisher (eds.) The Routledge History of Sex and the Body, 1500 to the Present (New York: Routledge, 2013), pp. 463-478.
  • “Searchers of the Dead in the Eighteenth Century” in Lori Woods and Kim Kippen (eds.) Gender and Marginality in Pre-modern Europe, (Toronto: Centre for Reformation and Renaissance Studies, 2011), pp. 123-152.
  • “Hospitals for the Excluded or Convalescent Homes?: workhouses, medicalization and the poor law in long eighteenth-century London and pre-Confederation Toronto.” Canadian Bulletin of Medical History, Volume 27 (1) (2010): 5-25
  • “Pliable Bodies: The Moral Biology of Health and Disease in the Enlightenment”, in Carole Reeves (ed.) Cultural History of the Human Body in the Enlightenment (Oxford: Berg, 2010), pp. 33-52
  • “Suicide as an Illness Strategy in the Long Eighteenth Century” in John Weaver and David Wright (eds.) Histories of Suicide: International Perspectives on Self-Destruction in the Modern World (Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 2009), pp. 53-72.
  • “Stage Managing a Hospital in the Eighteenth Century: Visitation at the London Lock Hospital,” in Graham Mooney and Jonathan Reinarz (eds.), Permeable Walls: Historical Perspectives on Hospital and Asylum Visiting, (Amsterdam: Rodopi, 2009), pp. 175-98.
  • “The Strange Medical Silence on Same-Sex Transmission of the Pox c. 1660-c.1760” in G. S. Rousseau and Kenneth Borris (eds.) The Sciences of Homosexuality in Early Modern Europe (Routledge, 2007), pp. 115-33.