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Deborah Madden

Dr, Elected Fellow, Royal Historical Society, Fellow of Higher Education Academy

20082017
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Personal profile

Research interests

Deborah Madden is a cultural and intellectual historian with research interests in religion, medicine, education, politics and culture in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries. She has published widely on the cultural significance of Protestant dissent and millenarianism across Britain's Empire and extra-imperial sites. She has taught a broad range of undergraduate and postgraduate courses at the Universities of Sussex and Oxford, as well as the Open University. She is based in the School of Humanities, teaches on the MA for Cultural Memory and is Deputy Director for the Centre for Memory, Narrative and Histories (CMNH). She is a Research Fellow of the Royal Historical Society and Fellow of the Higher Education Academy.

Supervisory Interests

Areas for PhD supervision include:

  • Cultural and intellectual histories of Protestant dissent
  • Eighteenth-century medical practice
  • Millenarian prophecy and groups
  • Missionaries, education and Empire
  • Nineteenth-century life writings
  • Cultural heritage, public history
  • Colonial and imperial sites of memory

Approach to teaching

As a Fellow of the Higher Education Academy who also holds a PGCE, Madden's teaching is informed and updated by evidenced-based research in pedagogy in higher education.

In practice, she adopts a range of teaching methods in lectures and seminars for differentiated learning. This draws on various pedagogic models of collaborative working, using a variety of archival, text and digital sources appropriate to the methodology within the practice of History. Her approach in teaching and research is inherently interdisciplinary. 

Scholarly biography

Dr Deborah Madden is a principal lecturer, based in the School of Humanities. Her research background is in intellectual and cultural history. Fellow of the Royal Historical Society and Higher Education Academy, she has published academic monographs, chapters and articles on the relationship between dissenting religion, medicine, education, politics and culture in the eighteenth century. In addition to this, she has written extensively on Protestant prophetic narratives between 1780 and 1950, showing the ways in which radical millenarian groups have reinterpreted the bible's narrative structure, archetypes and language to envision and literally rebuild 'sacred spaces', 'moral geographies' and 'elect' communities across Britain's Empire and extra-imperial sites. 

Drawing on these existing areas of expertise, work on her latest book, Victorian Cultures of Life Writing: Perspectives on Gender, Temporality and Empire, examines nineteenth-century theological, millenarian, missionary and medical texts in the wider context of Empire. The book also provides a critical reflection on issues surrounding the so-called 'affective turn' and contemporary methodological use of personal sources, life writings, autobiographies and biographies as historical evidence.

A separate strand of teaching and research is concerned with memory studies and the cultural politics of heritage.

She teaches on the Cultural History, Memory and Identity MA and is Deputy Director for the Centre for Memory, Narrative and Histories, based at the University of Brighton.

Forthcoming publications commissioned and under contract with Cambridge University Press:

  • Isabel Rivers and David Wykes (eds.), A History of the Dissenting Academies in the British Isles, 1660-1860, which is under contract with Cambridge University Press. This multi-volume work comes out of an AHRC and ESRC funded project led by Isabel Rivers and David Wykes. Two chapters contributed by Madden track the development of higher education across Britain's first and second Empire.

‘The Dissenting Academies Across the British Empire 1: North America’  

‘The Dissenting Academies Across the British Empire 2: Missions and Missionary Work in India, Africa and Asia’.

Further selected publications:

  • Recent:
  • 2016: 'Prophecy in the Age of Revolution', in Andrew Crome (ed.), Prophecy and Eschatology in the Transatlantic World, 1550-1800 (Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan).
  • 2016: 'Medicine on Demand: John Wesley's Enlightened Treatment of the Sick', in Robert Webster (ed.), Perfecting Perfection: Essays in Honour of Henry D. Rack (Cambridge: James Clarke).
  • 2015: ‘Education and Manners in Richard Whatmore and Brian Young (eds.), Wiley-Blackwell Companion to Intellectual History (Oxford: Wiley-Blackwell).

Forthcoming:

  • 'Educating the "Daughters of Syria": Perspectives on Gender, Temporality and Religion in the Missionary Writings of Elizabeth Bowen Thompson (1812-1869).
  • 'Framing the Holy Land: Missionary Tourism and Photography in Palestine'.
  • '"The Next Christ will Perhaps be a Female": Florence Nightingale, Nursing and the Redundant Woman in Victorian England'.

Research and publications as a postdoctoral researcher for the Theology Faculty, University of Oxford (2003-8):

  •  2017: Jane Shaw and Philip Lockley (eds.), History of a Modern Millennial Movement: The Southcottians. (London: IB Tauris). Madden has contributed three chapters to this volume, which tracks the intellectual and cultural history of Southcottian and Christian Israelite sects in Britain, America and Australia (1792-1952). Work here reveals a history of millennialist belief, as well as the rich tapestry of transatlantic missionary networks during Britain’s age of Empire and America’s expansionist era.
  • 2010: Deborah Madden, The Paddington Prophet: Richard Brothers’s Journey to Jerusalem (Manchester: Manchester University Press).
  • 2008: Deborah Madden, ‘The Religious Politics of Prophecy: Or, Richard Brothers’s Revealed Knowledge Confuted’, History of European Ideas, 34.3 (2008), 270-284.

Books:

  • The Paddington Prophet: Richard Brothers’s Journey to Jerusalem (Manchester: Manchester University Press, 2010).
  • ‘A Cheap, Safe and Natural Medicine’: Religion, Medicine and Culture in John Wesley’s Primitive Physic (Clio Medica: 83. Amsterdam: Rodopi Press, 2007).  
  • Deborah Madden (ed.), ‘Inward and Outward Health’: John Wesley’s Holistic Concept of Medical Science, the Environment and Holy Living (Norwich: Epworth Press, 2008).[ Reprinted in 2012 with WIPF and Stock Publishers].

Journals and Book Chapters:

  • ‘John Wesley as Medical Advisor on Health and Healing’, chapter in Randy L. Maddox and Jason E. Vickers (eds.), Cambridge Companion to John Wesley, (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2009) (Invited).
  • ‘Introduction. Saving Souls and Saving Lives: John Wesley’s “Inward and Outward” Health’, chapter in Deborah Madden (ed.), ‘Inward and Outward Health’: John Wesley’s Holistic Concept of Medical Science, the Environment and Holy Living, (Norwich: Epworth Press, 2008). [Reprinted in 2012 with WIPF Stock]
  • ‘Pastor and Physician: John Wesley’s Cures for Consumption’, chapter in Deborah Madden (ed.), ‘Inward and Outward Health: John Wesley’s Holistic Concept of Medical Science, the Environment and Holy Living, (Norwich: Epworth Press, 2008). [Reprinted in 2012 with WIPF Stock]
  • ‘The Religious Politics of Prophecy: Or, Richard Brothers’s Revealed Knowledge Confuted’, History of European Ideas, 34.3 (2008), 270-284.
  • ‘The Limitation of Human Knowledge: Faith and the Empirical Method in John Wesley’s Medical Holism’, History of European Ideas, 32 (2006): 162-172.
  • ‘Medicine, Science and Intellectual History’ in R. Whatmore and B. Young (eds.), Palgrave Advances: Intellectual History (Basingstoke: Palgrave. Macmillan, 2006): 147-170.  (Invited).
  • ‘John Wesley’, Literary Encyclopaedia (www.litencyc.com), January 2005.  (Invited)
  • ‘Medicine and Moral Reform: The Place of Practical Piety in John Wesley’s Art of Physic’, Church History, 73.4 (December 2004): 741-758.
  • ‘Contemporary reaction to John Wesley’s Primitive Physic: Or, the case of William Hawes Examined’, Social History of Medicine 17.3 (December 2004): 365-378.
  • ‘Experience and the Common Interest of Mankind: The Enlightened Empiricism of John Wesley’s Primitive Physic’, British Journal for Eighteenth-Century Studies 26.1 (Spring 2003): 41-53.
  • With D. Towsey, ‘Derrida, Faith and St Paul’, Literature and Theology, 16.4 (December 2002): 396-409.

 

Citations and reviews

Review for The History of a Modern Millennial Movement: The Southcottians, (ed.) Jane Shaw and Philip Lockley (London: IB Tauris, 2017).

"This highly original book vividly charts the history of that charismatic millenarian prophetess Joanna Southcott and her ardent far-flung followers from their roots in 18th-century heterodox Protestantism to the Jezreelites in mid-Victorian Kent, the Panaceans in early 20th-century Bedford, the Christian Israelites in Australia and the Israelite House of David in Michigan. Combining mastery of complex theological thickets with unforgettable portraits of individual leaders and deft historical analysis, the authors reveal just how modern these Southcottians were in their pursuit of heaven – here and now - on earth."

Seth Koven, G E Lessing Distinguished Professor of History and Poetics, Rutgers University, 2017

Review for Companion to Intellectual History, (eds.), Richard Whatmore and Brian Young (Oxford: Wiley-Blackwell, 2016)

"This is an exceptionally stimulating book.  Each chapter discusses complex matters with lucidity with no loss in rigor, and each raises questions with great intrinsic interest...... An outstanding work."

Choice Connect, 2016

Reviews for Madden’s ‘A Cheap, Safe and Natural Medicine’: Religion, Medicine and Culture in John Wesley’s Primitive Physic (New York and Amsterdam: Rodopi, 2007)

"In an impressive monograph, notable for the thoroughness with which most of the recent secondary literature has been assimilated, Deborah Madden offers a systematic study of Wesley’s motivation and its grounding in his primitive Christianity… one of the real strengths of Madden’s analysis is her identification of the several levels at which Wesley’s eclectic theology did shape his medical priorities… she is surely correct, in principle, to say that […] Wesley’s eyes were focused on the natural, not the supernatural."

John Hedley Brooke, Medical History, October 2009

"Deborah Madden's ‘A Cheap, Safe and Natural Medicine’ is a valuable addition to The Wellcome Series in the History of Medicine, as it is the first book-length, scholarly study devoted to providing a range of detailed biographical and cultural contexts for comprehending the significance of Wesley's medical manual. [A] useful study that will be of interest to anyone concerned with the inter-relationship between religion and medicine in the period."

David E. Shuttleton, Social History of Medicine, June 2009


"‘A Cheap, Safe and Natural Medicine’ does a nice job in capturing the whole of Wesley’s thought—not only the theological but the medicinal…. I am reminded of just how closely Wesley and the early Methodists viewed the relationship between spiritual and physical well being. I am grateful to Deborah Madden’s engaging work for helping me see this connection more clearly."

K.Z. Laxson, Journal of the History of Medicine and Allied Sciences, October 2008

Reviews for Madden (ed.), Inward and Outward Health: John Wesley’s Holistic Concept of Medical Science, the Environment and Holy Living (London: Epworth, 2008)

"Inward and Outward Health succeeds in debunking old myths and also in making a somewhat specialised (or, rather, neglected) subject accessible to the general reader…[Madden’s] own contribution on Wesley’s treatment of consumption – 'the dreaded disease' – combines eloquence with erudition."

B. Tabraham, Journal of Ecclesiastical History, March 2010

"This collection, under the expert eye of Deborah Madden, makes a major contribution to a growing field of historical inquiry that rightfully attracts contemporary attention."

Richard P. Heitzenrater, William Kellon Quick Professor of Church History, Duke University, Durham, NC

Knowledge exchange

Madden has engaged in numerous 'community-facing' and social engagement projects where research has been adapted for wider application. She has been involved in a number of heritage and local history consultancy projects. She established a series of local history and heritage forums at the University of Brighton in Hastings, where key stakeholders working within these areas were invited to share knowledge and expertise. This led to the establishment of the Hastings and St Leonards Heritage Society in 2016, which acts as an umbrella organisation for local history groups and professionals working within the cultural heritage sector in the town. 

Education/Academic qualification

PhD, University of Oxford

Sep 2000Sep 2003

Master, University of Sussex

Oct 1996Sep 1998

Bachelor, University of Sussex

Oct 1993Jun 1996

External positions

Fellow

Oct 2014 → …

Research Fellow

Oct 2010 → …

Research Output 2008 2017

The emergence of Southcottian Israelite theology, 1815-63

Madden, D., 29 Jun 2017, The history of a modern millennial movement: The Southcottians. Shaw, J. & Lockley, P. (eds.). London, p. 78-94 17 p.

Research output: Chapter in Book/Conference proceeding with ISSN or ISBNChapterResearch

Theology
Israelite
History
Millennialism

The house of David and Mary's City

Madden, D., 29 Jun 2017, The history of a modern millennial movement: The Southcottians. Shaw, J. & Lockley, P. (eds.). London, p. 140-163 24 p.

Research output: Chapter in Book/Conference proceeding with ISSN or ISBNChapterResearch

History
House of David

Medicine on demand: John Wesley's enlightened treatment of the sick

Madden, D., 1 Jul 2016, Perfecting perfection: essays in honour of Henry D. Rack. Webster, R. (ed.). Cambridge, UK, p. 130-146 17 p.

Research output: Chapter in Book/Conference proceeding with ISSN or ISBNChapterResearch

Medicine
Methodism
Erudite
John Wesley
Eighteenth-century England

Prophecy in the age of revolution

Madden, D., 1 Jul 2016, Prophecy and eschatology in the transatlantic world, 1550−1800. Crome, A. (ed.). London, p. 259-281 23 p.

Research output: Chapter in Book/Conference proceeding with ISSN or ISBNChapterResearch

Open Access
File
Transatlantic
Revolution
Religion
Prophecy

Education and manners

Madden, D., 1 Dec 2015, A companion to intellectual history. Whatmore, R. & Young, B. (eds.). Oxford, UK, p. 262-275 14 p.

Research output: Chapter in Book/Conference proceeding with ISSN or ISBNChapterResearch

Intellectual History
Education
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