Western University HistoryWestern Social Science

Shelley McKellar

- The Jason A. Hannah Chair in the History of Medicine
- Associate Professor (Joint Appointment with the Department of Surgery)

PhD, University of Toronto, 1999
Telephone: 519-661-2111 ext. 84990
Email: smckell@uwo.ca
Office: Lawson Hall 2227
Office Hours: On sabbatical leave 2016-2017
History of Medicine at Western

Research Interests

Professor McKellar studies the history of medicine and disease, with a special interest in the history of medical technology, instruments and devices, the history of surgery, and medical biography.

Teaching Experience

Professor McKellar teaches the history of medicine, the medical profession, and related historical aspects of 'doctoring' to medical students in the Schulich School of Medicine and Dentistry as well as teaches the history of disease and society, including public health initiatives, epidemic outbreaks and social response to undergraduate and graduate history students in the Faculty of Social Science. She advises a number of graduate students, and welcomes inquiries from MA and PhD students interested in the history of medicine and disease.

Major Research Projects

Professor McKellar is completing a manuscript, entitled "Artificial Hearts: The Powerful Allure of a Controversial Medical Technology" on the history of the development and use of artificial hearts from the 1950s to present day. She is also collaborating with Dr David Kenny on a history of the dental school program at Western University in honour of the program's 50th anniversary.

McKellar - Medical Artifacts CollectionProfessor McKellar also curates the Medical Artifact Collection, which is a university study collection under ongoing development as a teaching and research source. The collection contains approximately 1,000 objects, ranging from bloodletting instruments and surgical sets to microscopes and pharmaceuticals, representative of late 19th- and early to mid-20th century practice and teaching of health and medicine in southwestern Ontario. It can be viewed online at www.medicalhistory.uwo.ca.

Select Publications


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(2008) Medicine and Technology in Canada, 1900-1950. with Allison Kirk-Montgomery. Transformation Series #16 (Ottawa: Canada Science and Technology Museum, 2008). 171 pp.
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(2008) Essays in Honour of Michael Bliss: Figuring the Social. Co-edited with Alison Li, Elsbeth Heaman. (Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 2008). 491 pp.

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(2003) Surgical Limits: The Life of Gordon Murray (University of Toronto Press, 2003). 270 pp.
Shelley McKellar's Surgical Limits chronicles the life of one of Canada's most prominent and controversial surgeons, Gordon Murray (1894-1976).

Recent Chapter and Journal Publications

Media & Speaking Events

Displays & Workshops

In The News

Awards & Distinctions