Lecturer in History of Science and Medicine
office: 1.2a in 22 Gordon Square
tel: 0207 679 2929 (x3-2929)
Dr William MacLehose works on the connections between medical,
natural philosophical, and religious thought in western Europe during the
twelfth and thirteenth centuries. His research emphasises the transformations
within medical knowledge as the medieval west rediscovered the
Hippocratic-Galenic traditions via the Arabic world. His primary interest lies
in the importance of childhood as a source of interest and concern within
medieval society, as reflected in the fields of embryology, obstetrics, and
pediatrics. He is the author of A Tender Age: Cultural Anxieties over the
Child in the Twelfth and Thirteenth Centuries (Columbia University Press,
- HPSC3029 History of Medicine
- HPSC3049 HPSC3049 Sleep and Dreaming
- HPSCGA20 Science, Technology, and Medicine across Medieval Worlds
Administrative duties for 2016-17
- STS MSc programme tutor
The Sleep of Reason: Meanings of Sleep in Medieval Science and Medicine
My current project is a cultural-intellectual history of sleep in the middle ages. Based on twelfth- and thirteenth-century sources, the project identifies sleep as a topic which uniquely allowed medieval writers to explore the relations between mind and body, interior and exterior, and the limits of rationality. I focus on the medical and natural philosophical materials, and the discussions of normative and pathological sleep, including disease categories such as sleep terrors/paralysis (the incubus), insomnia, nocturnal emissions, and sleepwalking.
Two essays based on this research have appeared to date:
'Fear, Fantasy and Sleep in Medieval Medicine.' In: Carrera, E, (ed.) Emotions and Health, 1200-1700. Brill, 2013, pp. 67-94.
‘Sleepwalking, Violence and Desire in the Middle Ages.’ Culture, Medicine and Psychiatry 37 (2013), 601-24.