SIR WILLIAM OSLER CHAIR IN ENGLISH
Established in 1918 by Sir William Osler in memory of his son, Edward R. Osler

Image Credit: Ferdinand Hamburger Jr. Archives, Johns Hopkins University, Milton S. Eisenhower Library SIR WILLIAM OSLER, one of Hopkins' four founding doctors, served as physician-in-chief and professor of medicine. He was a proponent of the close integration of the hospital with the instruction of students in the School of Medicine--a model emphasizing teaching at the bedside that he pioneered at Johns Hopkins. Through lectures and his landmark textbook, first issued in 1892, Principles and Practice of Medicine, he had a tremendous influence on both clinical practice and medical education in America. During the 14 years he spent at Hopkins, Dr. Osler revolutionized the medical curriculum of the United States and Canada, ushering in the era of scientific medicine and creating policies and programs that have endured. Dr. Osler was a skilled diagnostician, a generalist who believed physicians should be knowledgeable in a broad range of specialties. He did seminal work in hematology. He also published amusing and inspiring essays and speeches, still popular among physicians. Perhaps his most lasting legacy was his vision of how a physician ought to be: skillful and competent, yet approachable and compassionate.

 

As a tribute to his only child, EDWARD REVERE OSLER, who died in battle during World War I, Dr. Osler created this professorship to promote the study of English literature of the Tudor and Stuart periods--reflecting the literary interest of his late son. Edward Osler's collection of books became the foundation of the Tudor and Stuart Literary Club, still active at Hopkins.

 

RICHARD L. HALPERN, the Sir William Osler Professor of English, joined Johns Hopkins faculty in 2002 and has held the Osler Professorship since 2007. He is a member of the executive board of the Charles S. Singleton Center. Dr. Halpern is the author of four books: Norman Rockwell: The Underside of Innocence (2006); Shakespeare’s Perfume: Sodomy and Sublimity in Shakespeare, Wilde, Freud and Lacan (2002); Shakespeare among the Moderns (1997); and The Poetics of Primitive Accumulation: English Renaissance Culture and the Genealogy of Capital (1991). He is currently at work on a book about tragedy and political economy. Professor Halpern's interests include sixteenth- and seventeenth-century literature, especially drama; Shakespeare; modernism; literary theory, especially Marxist and psychoanalytic; aesthetics; science and literature. He has been a recipient of Guggenheim and National Endowment for the Humanities fellowships.