Lucinda M. McCray

"Birth, ill-health, and death are human universals—yet societies vary enormously in the ways they deal with these matters. Few people know much about these histories. I enjoy working with students to increase their understanding of evidence surrounding the research question that has driven my work for many years: "What do people do when they get sick?"

Dr. Lucinda McCray completed her Ph.D. in History at Lancaster University (UK) in 1985. She specializes in the History of Medicine and Public Health in the U.S. and Britain, British History, European History, and Oral History practices. These topics feature heavily in her publications and classes. When asked why she teaches, Dr. McCray explained: "I am convinced that a broad understanding of history enhances people's understanding of the world they live in and improves the quality of the decisions they make. Thus, I am committed to teaching introductory classes tailored for non-majors."


Ph.D. Lancaster University (United Kingdom)

Areas of Study

European History, Public History, United States History, History of Medicine and Public Health in Britain and the U.S.

Selected Courses

HIS 1700 The Making of Europe

HIS 3420 History of Western Medicine and Public Health

HIS 5579 Oral History

Selected Publications


Sufferers and Healers: The Experience of Illness in Seventeenth-Century England, Routledge (First published 1987; 2015, Routledge Revival Series), 314 pages

A Matter of Life and Death: Health. Illness and Medicine in McLean County. 1830-1995, McLean County Historical Society (1996), 281 pages.

For Their Own Good: Transforming English Working-Class Health Culture, 1880-1970, The Ohio State University Press. (2008), 392 pages.

Health Culture in the Heartland, 1880-1980: An Oral History, University of Illinois Press. (2009), 234 pages.


"In Living Memory: Using the Elizabeth Roberts Oral History Archive," Centre Words: Centre for North-West Regional Studies Lancaster University, New Series no. 4 (2005), 5-16.

"Expertise and Control: Childbearing in Three Twentieth-Century Working-Class Lancashire Communities", Bulletin of the History of Medicine, 78:2 (2004), 379-409.

"Claver Morris," New Dictionary of National Biography, Oxford University Press (2004).

"'We Were Green as Grass': Learning about Sex and Reproduction in Three Working-Class Lancashire Communities, 1900-70", Social History of Medicine, 16:3 (2003),461-480.

"Contagion, policy, class, gender, and mid-20th-century Lancashire working-class health culture," Hygiea Internationalis: An Interdisciplinarv Journal for the History of Public Health, 2: 1 (2001), pp. 7-24.

"I used to take her to the doctor's and get the proper thing": Twentieth-Century Health Care Choices in Lancashire Working-Class Communities," in Michael Shirley and Todd Larson (eds.), Splendidly Victorian, Ashgate Press (2001), pp. 221-241.

"My Twelve Years in the U.K. Health System," Health Affairs, 19:3 (2000), pp. 185-190.


Curriculum Vitae

History 3537 Syllabus

Title: Professor
Department: Department of History

Email address: Email me

Phone: (828) 262-6011

Fax: (828) 262-4976

Office address
Anne Belk Hall