Whitney Dirks

Faculty

Visiting Assistant Professor in History

Whitney Dirks specializes in early modern English social and medical history with an emphasis on bodies and unusual anatomies, and she is under advance contract with Amsterdam University Press for her first book, Monstrous Bodies and Knowledge Transfer in Early Modern England. The book revolves around a unique legal case, involving the alleged kidnapping of a pair of neonatal conjoined twins born in 1680, which is contextualized in terms of broader cultural beliefs about monstrosity between 1450 and 1800. Her most recent article, " 'Weighty Celebrity': Corpulency, Monstrosity, and Freakery in Eighteenth- and Nineteenth-Century England," has been accepted by Disability Studies Quarterly (forthcoming 2019). Future projects will examine the centuries-long urban legend of a pig-faced woman residing in London and the popular versus medical understandings of intersex in early modern England.    

Education

PhD 2013 The Ohio State University, MPhil 2007 University of Cambridge, BA 2005 Beloit College

Areas of Expertise

early modern England, bodies, and monsters


Courses Taught

HIS-110 (Europe 1000-1648) and HIS-221 (The Reformation)