Henry Cowles

Henry Cowles's picture
Assistant Professor of the History of Medicine and of History
SHM L218


Henry Cowles is an historian of modern medicine and science in the United States and Great Britain. His work focuses on how certain issues come to be understood as issues of mind and brain: how psychologists, psychiatrists, and others have addressed questions of choice, authority, spontaneity, consumption, and method since the nineteenth century. His research and teaching interests include scientific medicine, the sciences of mind and brain, evolutionary theory, and experimentation in science, medicine, and the arts. He has also written on the concept of extinction and on the history of philosophy and teaches a range of courses, including “Minds and Brains in Modern America,” “History of Addiction,” and “Medicine and the Human Sciences.” Recently, his work has been awarded the Walter D. Love Prize of the North American Conference on British Studies and the Emerging Scholars Prize of the Nineteenth Century Studies Association.


“Hypothesis Bound: Trial and Error in the Nineteenth Century,” Isis (forthcoming, Sept. 2015)

“A Victorian Extinction: Alfred Newton and the Evolution of Animal Protection,” British Journal for the History of Science  46:4 (Dec. 2013), pp. 695-714.


 Princeton University, Ph.D. in History/History of Science

 Princeton University, M.A. in History/History of Science

 Harvard College, A.B. in Environmental Science and Public Policy

Field(s) of interest: 
Human sciences and scientific medicine since 1800; mind and brain; historical and scientific methodology; pragmatism and evolutionary theory; experimentation in science, medicine, and the arts