University of Calgary

Frank W. Stahnisch

  • Professor
  • Coordinator (History) - History and Philosophy of Science

Currently Teaching

 F2019 - HTST 493.38 - Topics in History (Hist Medicine & Hlth Care I)
LEC 3M 12:30 - 13:20
R 17:30 - 19:20
 W2020 - HTST 476 - Cultural Hist Biomed Sciences
LEC 1TR 14:00 - 15:15
ST 055
 W2020 - HTST 493.39 - Topics in History (Hist Medicine & Hlth Care II)
LEC 3M 12:30 - 13:20
R 17:30 - 19:20
 W2020 - HTST 493.99 - Topics in History - Medicine (Hist Medicine & Hlth Care II)


(AMF/Hannah Professorship in the History of Medicine and Health Care)

As a historian of medicine and health care, Frank's interests span the development of experimental physiology and laboratory medicine since the late 18th century (particularly France and Germany), the historical relationship between neurology/the neurosciences and the philosophy of the mind (focus on the German-speaking countries and North America), the relationship between clinical neuroscience and public mental health (particularly Canada and the United States), the historical epistemology of the life sciences (18th to 21st centuries), and the longer history of visualization practices in medicine and health care. His current research as a Principle Investigator has been supported by research grants from SSHRC, CIHR, AvH, NSHRF, AMS, and AHRF.

Since 2015 he has succeeded Professor Malcolm Macmillan (University of Melbourne, Australia) as Editor-in-Chief of the international "Journal of the History of the Neurosciences" (with Taylor & Francis - Routledge Group).


Frank W. Stahnisch is an Editor-in-Chief of the international "Journal of the History of the Neurosciences", which is the official journal of the International Society for the History of the Neurosciences (ISHN) and the History Committee of the World Federation of Neurology (WFR).  This journal is a flagship journal in the wider field of the history of neuroscience, psychiatry, and public mental health.  Frank envisages his role as Editor-in-Chief, as to encourage broader scholarly uptake in the history and philosophy of neuroscience, the cultural historical exploration of neuroscientific concepts, institutions, and practices, along with the comparative aspects of neuroscientific research and clinical work in different cultural and international settings.


Endowed Professorship

Alberta Medical Foundation / Hannah Professorship in the History of Medicine and Health Care

Associated Medical Services, Inc. (formerly known as the Hannah Foundation) in Toronto, ON, has also sought opportunities to expand its commitment to the History of Medicine across Canada.  This research professorship was created as a result of a long-term partnership between AMS and the University of Calgary.  With contributions from AMS and the Alberta Medical Foundation in the early 1990s, this professorship evolved to an endowed position in the history of medicine and health care in 2008.

Through the activities of this professorship, an increase in the understanding for the scope and limits of modern medicine shall be reached and its relations to the changing social and cultural contexts will be rendered more visible: «Understanding the Past in Creating the Future of Health».


Room 3E41, TRW Building

Ph.D. Student

Jessica TannebaumJessica Tannenbaum, M.D., M.A. is a Ph.D. student in the Dept. of History at the University of Calgary, Alberta (Canada). She is the recipient of a Chancellor Norford Scholarship, the award of a Transformative Talent Internship, and the Herbert Lewin Prize of the German Physicians' Association/German Dentists' Association, among other awards and prizes. Her recent publications include, “Medizin im Konzentrationslager Flossenbuerg 1938-1945. Biographische Annaeherungen an Taeter, Opfer und Tatbestaende" [~ Medicine in Concentration Camp Flosenbuerg, 1938-1945. Biographical Approaches to Perpetrators, Victims, and Factual Circumstances] with Peter Lang: Frankfurt/M., Germany, 2017. 

Present and Previous Affiliations: Jessica Tannenbaum is a Ph.D. student in the Dept. of History at the University of Calgary. She has completed her MA in History and Philosophy of Science at the University of Calgary, Alberta, Canada, and graduated with an M.D. (~ Dr. med.) in History of Medicine from Friedrich-Alexander University in Erlangen-Nuernberg in Germany, following to her medical studies at University of Regensburg and Technical University of Munich in Germany. The working title of her PhD is "Tracing Individuals' Health from their Imprisonment at the Flossenbuerg Concentration Camp during the Post-War Period."

Master's Students

Alison Bumstead, B.A.: Re-Examining the Mental Health Casualties during the British
Burma Campaign, 1942-1945 (M.A. in History)

Mrs. Alison BumsteadAlison Bumstead received a Bachelor of Nursing in 1982 (University of Calgary), and subsequently practiced cardiac, general medical, and geriatric nursing in both tertiary and community settings.  She has completed her Bachelor of Arts degree in 2012 at the University of Calgary, focusing on military and diplomatic history.  Since 2013, she has joined the M.A. (History) program (first as a taught Master's, now as a research student).  Current research interests and publications include topics pertaining to the social, physical, and psychological impacts of war on both combatants and civilians.


Jacqueline Eenkooren, B.A.: On the Relationship of Neurophysiology History and Military Intelligence Approaches, 1919-2019 (M.S.S. in Military, Strategic and Security Studies).

Jacqueline EenkoorenShe has completed the B.A. program in the University of Calgary's Centre for Military, Strategic and Security studies and acted as student co-organizer of the 19th Annual Graduate Strategic Studies Conference: Security, Strategy, and Defence with CMSS in March, 2017.  She has also worked as a research assistant in a clinical neuroscience program of Calgary's Hotchkiss Brain Institute.







Daniel McCormack, B.A., B.A.: The Scottish Enlightenment and its Effects on Medical Practice and Education (M.A. in History).

Daniel McCormack holds a B.A. in History (2015) and a B.A. in Philosophy (2017) from the University of Calgary's Faculty of Arts.  His research interests include European Enlightenment Traditions, the History of Ideas, Philosophy in the Early Modern Period, as well as Military and Diplomatic History.



Incoming Postdoctoral Fellow

Dr. Fedir Razumenko, Ph.D.

Dr. Fedir RazumenkoFedir graduated with an M.A. in Translation Studies and Philology (Hons.) from the Taras Shevchenko National University of Kyiv in the Ukraine, an M.A. in European Studies from the Rijksuniversiteit Groningen in The Netherlands, and an M.A. in History of Science and Medicine from the University of Saskatchewan in Saskatoon, Canada, in 2014.  His Ph.D. in History of Science and Medicine was finished at the University of Saskatchewan in Saskatoon, Canada, in 2018.  After successful completion of his thesis, entitled: "Clinical Trials, Cancer, and the Emergence of Human Research Ethics in Canada, 1921-1980," he now seeks to investigate changes to the regulatory documents in Canada that codified human subject research requirements. From the promulgation of "Ethical Considerations in Research Involving Human Subjects" by the Medical Research Council of Canada in 1978 to the adoption of the "Tri-Council Policy Statement" of 1998, he will analyze to what degree the elaboration of ethical standards pertinent to clinical trials correlated with the increasing number of controlled clinical trials.

Fedir's postdoctoral project in entitled "Cancer Clinical Trials in Canada and the Ethics of the Human Dignity Framework, 1971-1998."  He has presented his research work at the University of Regina, University of Calgary, and Dalhousie University in Canada, at the University of Cincinnati, OH, and at the American Association for the History of Medicine in Los Angeles, CA, in the United States.  Publications have appeared in the Canadian Bulletin of Medical History and the Canadian Journal of History.

His research interests include the History of Medicine, the Development of Medical Institutions, European History, North American History, and Social History since the Early Modern Period.

Past Postdoctoral Fellows

Dr LoewenauDr. Aleksandra Loewenau, Ph.D.

Aleksandra graduated with a PhD in History of Medicine from Oxford Brookes University in 2012. After the successful completion of her thesis entitled: “The Impact of Nazi Medical Experiments on Polish Inmates at Dachau, Auschwitz and Ravensbrück”, Aleksandra worked as a Post-Doctoral Research Assistant on the Wellcome Trust funded Programme Grant investigating “Disputed Bodies: Subject's Narratives of Medical Research in Europe, 1940-2001” lead by Professor Paul Weindling at Oxford Brookes University. Her input involved analyzing narratives of victims of medical crimes under National Socialism, particularly Jewish men who were subjected to X-ray sterilization experiments and surgical castration at Auschwitz-Birkenau.

Aleksandra presented findings of her research at various conferences and held research fellowships at Library of Congress in Washington DC, Immigration History Research Center at University of Minnesota, Institute for Contemporary History in Munich and German Historical Institute in Warsaw. Her historical research has been published widely in journals, such as Endeavour, the Canadian Bulletin of Medical History, and the Journal of the History of the Neurosciences.

Her research interests include History of Medicine, Holocaust Studies, Migration Studies, War Studies, European Studies and Gender Studies.

Dr. Matthew Oram, Ph.D.