kkroker


Kenton Kroker

Photo of Kenton Kroker

Department of Social Science

Associate Professor

Office: South Ross S773
Phone: 416-736-2100 Ext: 30200
Email: kkroker@yorku.ca

Media Requests Welcome
Accepting New Graduate Students


Historian of biomedicine

More...

I study and teach the different ways that health, biomedical expertise, self-knowledge, and governance have interacted since the early 19th century. For me, history is less about heros and victims than it is about the forgotten. So I gravitate towards odd, discarded bits from the past to force open questions about biomedicine's origins and its orientation. In this vein, I've published on seemingly marginal historical topics such as anaphylaxis (which I link to eugenics), relaxation therapy (an accidental product of experimental psychology), and encephalitis lethargica (the template for virtual epidemics). My first book - The Sleep of Others - explained how experimental routines and technologies turned sleep from a very personal non-experience to an important public and well-publicized concern. The question of how public health evolves still fascinates me: my most recent research examines how a little-known disease map from the 1880s helped shaped both public health and settler identity in Ontario.

Degrees

PhD, University of Toronto
MA, University of Toronto
BA (Hons.), University of Victoria

Appointments

Faculty of Graduate Studies

Research Interests

History , Health, Sleep Medicine, Epidemics, Biomedical technologies, Psychology

Current Research Projects

Co-editor, Canadian Bulletin of Medical History/Bulletin canadien d'histoire de la médecine (2015-19)

    Summary:

    Co-editor of CBMH/BCHM (with Erika Dyck)

    See more
    Role: Co-editor

    Start Date:
      Month: May   Year: 2015

    End Date:
      Month: May   Year: 2019

Doctoral Supervisor - Dorian Deshauer

    Summary:

    Primary supervisor (Science & Technology Studies) of Dorian Deshauer: "Inventing Psychiatric Drug Maintenance" (defended 2018)

    Description:

    PhD project tracing the history of the concept of "drug maintenance" in psychiatry over the course of the 20th century.

    See more
    Role: Primary supervisor

Doctoral Supervision - Ryan Staples

    Summary:

    Doctoral Supervisor (Humanities) of Ryan Staples: "Dreaming and Personhood: On Desire and Objectivity" (in progress)

    Description:

    An archaeology of "dreamwork" that examines a variety of cultural, social, and scientific practices surrounding the meaning and use of dreams.

    See more
    Role: Doctoral Supervisor

"Dreaming and Interdisciplinarity: Negotiating Difference in the International Association for the Study of Dreams" (Ryan Staples, lead author - in progress)

    Summary:

    A reconstruction of the formation and structure of the IASD, with an emphasis on the challenges constructing and maintaining expertise in an interdisciplinary approach to the (notoriously) idiosyncratic experience of dreaming.

    See more
Books

Publication
Year

(co-editor) Crafting Immunity: working histories of clinical immunology

2008

The Sleep of Others and the Transformations of Sleep Research

2007

Book Chapters

Publication
Year

"Configuring Epidemic Encephalitis as a National and International Neurological Concern" in D. Gavrus & S. Caspar (eds.), The History of the Brain and Mind Sciences: Technique, Technology, Therapy

2017

"Editors' Introduction," in K. Kroker, J. Keelan and Pauline M.H. Mazumdar (eds.), Crafting Immunity: working histories of clinical immunology

2008

“Creatures of Reason? Viruses at the Pasteur Institute during the 1920s,” in K. Kroker, J. Keelan, and P.M.H. Mazumdar (eds.), Crafting Immunity: working histories of clinical immunology

2008

“Washouts. Electroencephalography, Epilepsy & Emotions in the Selection of American Aviators during the Second World War,” in Steve A. Walton (ed.), Instrumental in War: Scientific research and instrumentation between knowledge and the world

2005

Book Reviews

Publication
Year

review of Mark Honigsbaum, A History of the Great Influenza Pandemics: Death, Panic and Hysteria, 1830–1920 for Medical History 60: 422-24

2016

review of Warwick Anderson & Ian R. Mackay, Intolerant Bodies: A Short History of Autoimmunity for Social History of Medicine 29: 203-4

2016

review of Angela N.H. Creager, Life Atomic: A History of Radioisotopes in Science and Medicine for Isis 106: 221-2

2015

review of Magda Fahrni & Esyllt W. Jones (eds.), Epidemic Encounters: Influenza, Society, and Culture for Scientia Canadensis 37: 219-21

2014

review of Javier Moscoso, Pain: A Cultural History for History and Philosophy of the Life Sciences 35: 459-60

2013

review of Erika Dyck, Psychedelic Psychiatry: LSD From Clinic to Campus for CBMH/BCHM 27: 225-7

2010

review of Edward Shorter & David Healy, Shock Therapy: A History of Electroconvulsive Treatment in Mental Illness for Scientia Canadensis 32: 85-7

2009

“Archives of the Imaginary,” review of Alfred Maury, erudite et rêveur: Les sciences de l’homme au milieu du xixe siècle sous la direction de Jacqueline Carroy et Nathalie Richard for History of the Human Sciences 22: 101-103

2009

review of Simon J. Williams, Sleep and Society: Sociological Ventures into the (Un)known for Isis 99: 391-2

2008

review of Charles Hayter, An Element of Hope: Radium and the Response to Cancer in Canada, 1900–1940 for Canadian Historical Review 88: 511-12

2007

review of Mark Jackson, Allergy: The History of a Modern Malady for Isis 98: 427–8

2007

review of Theodore L. Sourkes, The Life and Work of J.L.W. Thudichum, 1829-1901 for CBMH/BCHM 23: 263–4

2006

review of Winchell Magoun & Louise H. Marshall, American Neuroscience in the Twentieth Century for Isis 97: 172–4

2006

Journal Articles

Publication
Year

“Epidemic Encephalitis & American Neurology, 1919–40,” Bulletin of the History of Medicine

2004

“The Progress of Introspection in America, 1896–1938,” Studies in History & Philosophy of Biological & Biomedical Sciences 34:77-108

2003

“Immunity & Its Other: The anaphylactic selves of Charles Richet,” Studies in History & Philosophy of Biological & Biomedical Science 30: 273-296

1999

Professional Journal Articles

Publication
Year

Historical Keyword: "Biomedicine" Lancet: 2077

2008

“Psychology,” in Brian S. Baigrie (ed.), History of Modern Science and Mathematics, volume IV (New York: Scribner’s Sons), pp. 98–129

2002

Policy Papers

Publication
Year

"Editorial: A Gender Gap in CSHPS-SCHPS?" Communiqué: Newsletter of the Société canadienne d'histoire et de philosophie des sciences/Canadian Society for the History & Philosophy of Science 70 (Summer/Été 2008): 2-3

2008

Research Reports

Publication
Year

“The first modern plague: epidemic encephalitis in America, 1919–39,” Transactions & Studies of the College of Physicians of Philadelphia 24: 63–7

2002

Approach to Teaching


I have taught undergraduate and graduate courses in the history & philosophy of science and medicine at the University of Victoria, the University of Toronto, and (since 2003) York University. My primary goal in teaching is always the same: to demonstrate the various ways in which the extraordinary complexity of our pasts can be best understood. I have just as much fun trying to do this in first-year General Education classes as I do in advanced doctoral seminars.


Current Courses

Term Course Number Section Title Type
Fall/Winter 2019 AP/SOSC3090 6.0 A Medicine & N.A.Soc. In Hist. Perspect LECT


Upcoming Courses

Term Course Number Section Title Type
Winter 2020 AP/SOSC3993 3.0 M Strategies of Social Science Research SEMR
Fall/Winter 2019 AP/SOSC3090 6.0 A Medicine & N.A.Soc. In Hist. Perspect LECT


Historian of biomedicine

I study and teach the different ways that health, biomedical expertise, self-knowledge, and governance have interacted since the early 19th century. For me, history is less about heros and victims than it is about the forgotten. So I gravitate towards odd, discarded bits from the past to force open questions about biomedicine's origins and its orientation. In this vein, I've published on seemingly marginal historical topics such as anaphylaxis (which I link to eugenics), relaxation therapy (an accidental product of experimental psychology), and encephalitis lethargica (the template for virtual epidemics). My first book - The Sleep of Others - explained how experimental routines and technologies turned sleep from a very personal non-experience to an important public and well-publicized concern. The question of how public health evolves still fascinates me: my most recent research examines how a little-known disease map from the 1880s helped shaped both public health and settler identity in Ontario.

Degrees

PhD, University of Toronto
MA, University of Toronto
BA (Hons.), University of Victoria

Appointments

Faculty of Graduate Studies

Research Interests

History , Health, Sleep Medicine, Epidemics, Biomedical technologies, Psychology

Current Research Projects

Co-editor, Canadian Bulletin of Medical History/Bulletin canadien d'histoire de la médecine (2015-19)

    Summary:

    Co-editor of CBMH/BCHM (with Erika Dyck)

    Project Type: Self-Funded
    Role: Co-editor

    Start Date:
      Month: May   Year: 2015

    End Date:
      Month: May   Year: 2019

Doctoral Supervisor - Dorian Deshauer

    Summary:

    Primary supervisor (Science & Technology Studies) of Dorian Deshauer: "Inventing Psychiatric Drug Maintenance" (defended 2018)

    Description:

    PhD project tracing the history of the concept of "drug maintenance" in psychiatry over the course of the 20th century.

    Project Type: Self-Funded
    Role: Primary supervisor

Doctoral Supervision - Ryan Staples

    Summary:

    Doctoral Supervisor (Humanities) of Ryan Staples: "Dreaming and Personhood: On Desire and Objectivity" (in progress)

    Description:

    An archaeology of "dreamwork" that examines a variety of cultural, social, and scientific practices surrounding the meaning and use of dreams.

    Project Type: Self-Funded
    Role: Doctoral Supervisor

"Dreaming and Interdisciplinarity: Negotiating Difference in the International Association for the Study of Dreams" (Ryan Staples, lead author - in progress)

    Summary:

    A reconstruction of the formation and structure of the IASD, with an emphasis on the challenges constructing and maintaining expertise in an interdisciplinary approach to the (notoriously) idiosyncratic experience of dreaming.

    Project Type: Self-Funded

All Publications


Book Chapters

Publication
Year

"Configuring Epidemic Encephalitis as a National and International Neurological Concern" in D. Gavrus & S. Caspar (eds.), The History of the Brain and Mind Sciences: Technique, Technology, Therapy

2017

"Editors' Introduction," in K. Kroker, J. Keelan and Pauline M.H. Mazumdar (eds.), Crafting Immunity: working histories of clinical immunology

2008

“Creatures of Reason? Viruses at the Pasteur Institute during the 1920s,” in K. Kroker, J. Keelan, and P.M.H. Mazumdar (eds.), Crafting Immunity: working histories of clinical immunology

2008

“Washouts. Electroencephalography, Epilepsy & Emotions in the Selection of American Aviators during the Second World War,” in Steve A. Walton (ed.), Instrumental in War: Scientific research and instrumentation between knowledge and the world

2005

Book Reviews

Publication
Year

review of Mark Honigsbaum, A History of the Great Influenza Pandemics: Death, Panic and Hysteria, 1830–1920 for Medical History 60: 422-24

2016

review of Warwick Anderson & Ian R. Mackay, Intolerant Bodies: A Short History of Autoimmunity for Social History of Medicine 29: 203-4

2016

review of Angela N.H. Creager, Life Atomic: A History of Radioisotopes in Science and Medicine for Isis 106: 221-2

2015

review of Magda Fahrni & Esyllt W. Jones (eds.), Epidemic Encounters: Influenza, Society, and Culture for Scientia Canadensis 37: 219-21

2014

review of Javier Moscoso, Pain: A Cultural History for History and Philosophy of the Life Sciences 35: 459-60

2013

review of Erika Dyck, Psychedelic Psychiatry: LSD From Clinic to Campus for CBMH/BCHM 27: 225-7

2010

review of Edward Shorter & David Healy, Shock Therapy: A History of Electroconvulsive Treatment in Mental Illness for Scientia Canadensis 32: 85-7

2009

“Archives of the Imaginary,” review of Alfred Maury, erudite et rêveur: Les sciences de l’homme au milieu du xixe siècle sous la direction de Jacqueline Carroy et Nathalie Richard for History of the Human Sciences 22: 101-103

2009

review of Simon J. Williams, Sleep and Society: Sociological Ventures into the (Un)known for Isis 99: 391-2

2008

review of Charles Hayter, An Element of Hope: Radium and the Response to Cancer in Canada, 1900–1940 for Canadian Historical Review 88: 511-12

2007

review of Mark Jackson, Allergy: The History of a Modern Malady for Isis 98: 427–8

2007

review of Theodore L. Sourkes, The Life and Work of J.L.W. Thudichum, 1829-1901 for CBMH/BCHM 23: 263–4

2006

review of Winchell Magoun & Louise H. Marshall, American Neuroscience in the Twentieth Century for Isis 97: 172–4

2006

Books

Publication
Year

(co-editor) Crafting Immunity: working histories of clinical immunology

2008

The Sleep of Others and the Transformations of Sleep Research

2007

Journal Articles

Publication
Year

“Epidemic Encephalitis & American Neurology, 1919–40,” Bulletin of the History of Medicine

2004

“The Progress of Introspection in America, 1896–1938,” Studies in History & Philosophy of Biological & Biomedical Sciences 34:77-108

2003

“Immunity & Its Other: The anaphylactic selves of Charles Richet,” Studies in History & Philosophy of Biological & Biomedical Science 30: 273-296

1999

Professional Journal Articles

Publication
Year

Historical Keyword: "Biomedicine" Lancet: 2077

2008

“Psychology,” in Brian S. Baigrie (ed.), History of Modern Science and Mathematics, volume IV (New York: Scribner’s Sons), pp. 98–129

2002

Policy Papers

Publication
Year

"Editorial: A Gender Gap in CSHPS-SCHPS?" Communiqué: Newsletter of the Société canadienne d'histoire et de philosophie des sciences/Canadian Society for the History & Philosophy of Science 70 (Summer/Été 2008): 2-3

2008

Research Reports

Publication
Year

“The first modern plague: epidemic encephalitis in America, 1919–39,” Transactions & Studies of the College of Physicians of Philadelphia 24: 63–7

2002

Approach to Teaching


I have taught undergraduate and graduate courses in the history & philosophy of science and medicine at the University of Victoria, the University of Toronto, and (since 2003) York University. My primary goal in teaching is always the same: to demonstrate the various ways in which the extraordinary complexity of our pasts can be best understood. I have just as much fun trying to do this in first-year General Education classes as I do in advanced doctoral seminars.


Current Courses

Term Course Number Section Title Type
Fall/Winter 2019 AP/SOSC3090 6.0 A Medicine & N.A.Soc. In Hist. Perspect LECT


Upcoming Courses

Term Course Number Section Title Type
Winter 2020 AP/SOSC3993 3.0 M Strategies of Social Science Research SEMR
Fall/Winter 2019 AP/SOSC3090 6.0 A Medicine & N.A.Soc. In Hist. Perspect LECT