Ruben Erasmus MC
Photo: Jacques van der Linden, 2019.


Ruben Verwaal, historian and curator, conducts a postdoc project on deafness at the Institute for Medical Humanities, Durham University and curates the medical collections at Erasmus Medical Centre, Rotterdam. 


Ruben Verwaal (*1986) studied history of the sciences and humanities at Utrecht University and Xiamen University 厦門大学. He wrote a MA thesis on the reception and dissemination of Chinese and Japanese medicine in early modern Europe. He worked at University Museum Utrecht and the Dutch Railway Museum, and taught 3rd-year bachelor students History and Philosophy of the Humanities at Utrecht University. In 2013 he started a PhD within the NWO Vidi project ‘Vital Matters’ at the University of Groningen. 

During my PhD in Groningen, I worked at the editorial office of Isis, Journal for the History of Science Society, at the Descartes Centre in Utrecht. In spring 2015, I spent a term as visiting PhD at the Department of History and Philosophy of Science, Cambridge, to work on the history of blood chemistry. In 2016 and 2017, I was fortunate to receive the Van de Sande Fellowship to do research at the Scaliger Institute in Leiden, the Santorio Fellowship for Medical Humanities and Science to attend the CSMBR conference in Pisa, and the Herzog Ernst Fellowship to conduct research at Gotha Research Library. In 2018 I defended my PhD "Fluid Bodies: Physiology and Chemistry in the Eighteenth-Century Boerhaave School."

Since 2018 I work as curator of the medical collections at Erasmus University Medical Centre in Rotterdam. In 2019 I joined the Institute for Medical Humanities, Durham University, to conduct my NWO Rubicon postdoc project on the experiences and medical perceptions of deafness and hearing difference in early modern Europe.


ruben.e.verwaal [at] durham.ac.uk