Professor, Stevenson Chair in the History and Philosophy of Science, including Medicine
Educated as an architect and architectural historian at UC Berkeley, Adams is jointly appointed in McGill University’s School of Architecture and the Department of Social Studies of Medicine. She is the author of Architecture in the Family Way: Doctors, Houses, and Women, 1870-1900 (McGill-Queens, 1996), Medicine by Design: The Architect and the Modern Hospital, 1893-1943 (U Minn Press, 2008) and co-author of Designing Women: Gender and the Architectural Profession (UTP, 2000). Adams is a Fellow of the Royal Architectural Institute of Canada, the Canadian Academy of Health Sciences, and the Society of Architectural Historians.
Adams’ research explores the intersections of medicine and architecture. Her current work includes a SSHRC-funded spatial biography of cardiologist and museum curator Maude Abbott. She is supervising or co-supervising PhD dissertations on domestic architecture in the Philippines, architectures of care, the design of Indigenous health institutions, the collaborative work of Arthur Erickson, and pediatric advice literature for parents.
Peer-reviewed publications since 2020:
“Friendship archaeology: How Maude Abbott occupied overlapping spaces of excellence,” Notes and Records The Royal Society Journal of the History of Science, https://royalsocietypublishing.org/doi/10.1098/rsnr.2021.0051
“Architectural and Medical Innovation in Hospital Design,” Companion to Contemporary Architectural History, ed Duanfang Lu. London, UK: Routledge, 365-76.
“Miasmatical fears,” Domesticity Under Siege: Threatened Spaces of the Modern Home, ed Mark Taylor et al. London: Bloomsbury, 17-36.
“Feeling Penfield,” Feeling Dis-ease: Experiencing Medicine and Illness in Modern History, ed Rob Boddice and Bettina Hitzer. London: Bloomsbury Academic. 255-72.
“Looking around: the architecture of medical education,” Medical Education: A History in 22 Case Studies, ed Delia Gavrus and Susan Lamb. Montreal: MQUP, 330-60.
“Designing a Discipline: Architecture for Pathology in the Postwar Period,” Making Sense of Medicine: Materiality and the Reproduction of Medical Knowledge, ed John Nott and Anna Harris. Bristol: Intellect, 23-41.
“Picturing The Old Architecture of Quebec: Ramsay Traquair and Cultural Conservatism, 1913-39,” Photogenic Montreal: Activisms and Archives in a Post-industrial City, ed Martha Langford and Johanne Sloan. Montreal: MQUP, 151-73.
“Family and Household: A Century of Bedrooms,” A Cultural History of the Home in the Modern Age (1920-2000+), ed Despina Stratigakos. London: Bloomsbury.
“Agency, Art, and Architecture in Medical Murals by Mary Filer and Marian Dale Scott,” Design and Agency: Critical Perspectives on Identities, Histories, and Practices, ed John Potvin and Marie-Eve Marchand. London: Bloomsbury, 111-28.
ARCH 684 Feminism and Architecture (Fall 2023)
ARCH 251 Architectural History 2 (Winter 2024)
ARCH 528 History of housing (Fall 2024)
PIAT selective: Architecture + Medicine (Winter 2024)