Books & Writing


Katherine Foxhall (2019) Migraine: A History. Johns Hopkins University Press.  ISBN 9781421429489. 296pp.

Migraine is a two thousand year history of the efforts that ordinary people and medical professionals have made to describe, explain and – most importantly – treat migraine since the Middle Ages.

Reviews of Migraine: A History

“Foxhall has written the most comprehensive, well-researched, and in-depth history of migraine in existence. Drawing on completely original research, this book is a truly wonderful compendium of Western medicine’s approach to and treatment of migraine over the centuries.”
— Joanna Kempner, Rutgers University, author of Not Tonight: Migraine and the Politics of Gender and Health

“A fascinating and very well-written book. With verve and passion, Katherine Foxhall issues a call to arms that uses history to make its case.”
— Matthew Smith, University of Strathclyde, author of Another Person’s Poison: A History of Food Allergy

“Katherine Foxhall is one of the most illuminating young historians of science and medicine writing today. Her history of the migraine from the second century to the present is an enthralling story. It is a must-read for migraine sufferers as well as their physicians and friends. I couldn’t put it down.”
— Joanna Bourke, Birkbeck, University of London, author of The Story of Pain: From Prayers to Painkillers

“In this comprehensive account, Foxhall assesses over one thousand years of Western experience with migraine. Paying close attention to ways in which gender, class, and race in particular shape responses to migraine, the book amplifies the voices of people who for too long have been silenced and doubted.”
— Daniel S. Goldberg, University of Colorado, author of Public Health Ethics and the Social Determinants of Health

Katherine Foxhall (2012) Health, Medicine and the Sea: Australian Voyages, c. 1815-1860. Manchester University Press. ISBN 978 0 7190 8571 0. xi + 250pp.

“Health, Medicine and the Sea is a triumph”.
— Alison Bashford, Journal of Colonialism and Colonial History

“A fascinating history, providing a perceptive analysis … ‘Health, Medicine and the Sea’ has contributed valuably to both the history of medicine and the historiography of global connection”
— Alexander Cameron-Smith, Social History of Medicine

“This is an excellent and persuasive work, marrying the histories of medicine, penal transportation, and colonialism with maritime geography”
— Zoe Laidlaw, English Historical Review

Research Articles

K. Foxhall (2017) White Men in Quarantine: Disease, Race, Commerce and Mobility in the Pacific, 1872. Australian Historical Studies 48 (2). Open Access. DOI: 10.1080/1031461X.2017.1293704

Foxhall K (2014) Making Modern Migraine Medieval: Men of Science, Hildegard of Bingen and the Life of a Retrospective Diagnosis. Medical History: devoted to the history and bibliography of medicine and the related sciences, 58 (3), pp. 354-374. Available: Open Access Online.

Foxhall K (2011) Fever, Immigration and Quarantine in New South Wales, 1837-1840. Social History of Medicine, 24 (3), pp. 624-642 Available: Open Access Online.

Foxhall K (2011) From Convicts to Colonists: The Health of Prisoners and the Voyage to Australia, 1823–53. The Journal of Imperial and Commonwealth History, 39 (1), pp. 1-19. Available: Open Access Online.

Foxhall K (2010) Heat, calms and witches in the sky: Interpreting the tropical Atlantic in the mid nineteenth century. Weather, Climate and Society 2 (2), pp. 91-102.

Chapters in Edited Collections

Foxhall K (2016) Digital Narratives: Four Hits in the History of Migraine. In M. Jackson (ed.) The Routledge History of Disease. Routledge, pp. 512-528.

Foxhall K (2013) The Colonial Travels and Travails of Smallpox Vaccine c. 1820-1840. In: Marland H, Cox C (Eds.) Migration, Health and Ethnicity in the Modern World. Palgrave Macmillan, pp. 83-103.

Book Reviews

Foxhall K (2015) Krista Maglen, The English System: Quarantine, Immigration and the Making of a Port Sanitary Zone (review) Social History of Medicine 28:3 (2015).

Foxhall K (2013) Ma‘i Lepera: Disease and Displacement in Nineteenth-Century Hawai‘I (review). The American Historical Review (2013) 118 (5): 1507-1508.

Foxhall K (2013) Mervyn Eadie, Headache Through the Centuries (Review) Social History of Medicine 26 (3): 595-596. doi: 10.1093/shm/hkt030.

Foxhall, K. (2011). Catharine Coleborne, Madness in the Family: Insanity and Institutions in the Australasian Colonial World, 1860–1914 (review). Cultural and Social History, 8(1), 138-139.

Foxhall K (2009) The British Empire: Themes and Perspectives (review). Journal of World History 20 (2) pp. 293-296.