Prof. dr. Manon Parry

Professor of Modern American History at the University of Amsterdam and Professor of Medical History at Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam. The Netherlands


Professor dr. Manon S. Parry, is a historian of medicine and exhibition curator, specializing in the uses of the humanities for health and wellbeing. She teaches Medical History at Vrije Universiteit, Amsterdam, and American Studies and Public History at the University of Amsterdam. Formerly she was Curator in the History of Medicine Division of the National Library of Medicine, USA, where she curated gallery and online exhibitions on a wide range of topics, including global health and human rights, disability in the American Civil War, and medicinal and recreational drug use, with budgets ranging from $14,500 to $3 million.Traveling versions of her exhibitions have visited more than 300 venues in Argentina, Canada, Germany, Guam, the Netherlands, Turkey, the United Kingdom, and the United States. She has served in formal and informal advisory roles for exhibition projects on health and medicine at the Mütter Museum, Philadelphia; the National Archives and Records Administration and the Library of Congress, Washington, DC; MUCEM, the Museum of European Civilisations, Marseille, and Rijksmuseum Boerhaave, the national museum for the history of science, technology and medicine in the Netherlands. She is co-editor, with Ellen S. More and Elizabeth Fee, of Women Physicians and the Cultures of Medicine, (Johns Hopkins University Press, 2008), winner of the Archivists and Librarians in the History of the Health Sciences Publication Award for Best Print Publication in 2012, and author of Broadcasting Birth Control: Family Planning and Mass Media (Critical Issues in Health and Medicine Series, Rutgers University Press, August 2013), on the birth control movement’s use of mass media in America and around the world. Her current research project is “Human Curiosities: Expanding the Social Relevance of Medical Museums,” funded by a VENI grant of €315,000 from the Netherlands Organisation for Scientific Research and Special Collections/University of Amsterdam. Dr. Parry leads the MA History: Medical and Health Humanities at the VU and directs the PULSE Network for Health Humanities:

Some publications

Manon S. Parry, “The Valuable Role of Risky Histories: Exhibiting Disability, Race, and Reproduction,” Science Museum Group Journal 14 (January 2021).OA:

Manon S. Parry, “Museums and the Material Culture of Abortion,” in Rachel Alpha Johnston Hurst (ed.), Representing Abortion (London and New York: Routledge, November 2021), pp.61-74.

Manon S. Parry, “Public Health Heritage and Policy: HIV and AIDS in Museums and Archives,” special issue of História, Ciências, Saúde-Manguinhos on Global Health Histories, vol. 27, suppl.1 (2020), pp.253-262. OA:

Manon S. Parry, “Getting to Grips with Difficult Histories in Medical Museums,” in Helen Chatterjee and Thomas Kador, Object-Based Learning for Health and Wellbeing: Exploring Material Connections (London and New York: Routledge, November 2020), pp.173-182.

Manon S. Parry, Corrie Tijsseling, and Paul van Trigt, “Slow, Uncomfortable, and Badly Paid: The Benefits of Doing Disability History,” in Bernadette Lynch, Sarah Smed, Adele Chynoweth, and Klaus Petersen (eds.), Museums and Social Change: Challenging the Unhelpful Museum (London and New York: Routledge, Museum Meanings Series, July 2020), pp.149-159.

Manon S. Parry and Hugo Schalkwijk, “Lost Objects and Missing Histories: HIV/AIDS in the Netherlands,” in Joshua G. Adair and Amy K. Levin (eds.), Activism, Unruliness, and Alterity: Gender, Sexuality and Museums, Volume 2 (London and New York: Routledge, 2020), pp.113-126.

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