Krista Maglen

Assistant Professor, Department of History

Department of History

IU, IU Bloomington

Full Biography

Originally from Australia, I am a Medical Historian with a particular interest in disease control in international shipping, migration, and concepts of risk. My work conceptualises ports as particular geographical and representational spaces where notions of national, racial and biological borders were negotiated. I focus, primarily, on how different attempts to regulate and deregulate this space were informed by the often conflicting demands of national and international interests and varying concepts of ‘indigenous’ and ‘exotic;’ and how the exigencies of medical border controls interplayed with contemporary understanding of disease and ‘the diseased.’

My new project takes my interests in ideas about perceived and real dangers, borders and category making, in a different direction. Focusing on the dangerous native animals of Australia, I place Europeans in the penal colonies, as well as later free settlements, within a landscape of creatures that helped to set the spatial boundaries of settlement while not not always respecting the creation of colonized space or ‘civilised’ domains. My interest lies in the small, scuttling and slithering creatures that hid in the woodpiles and under the floors of European homes and workplaces, and lurked just beneath the surface of the water that surrounded the settlements.

Honors and Awards

  • Trustees' Teaching Award
  • Wellcome Trust Postdoctoral Research Fellowship, University Of Oxford, 2002-2005
  • University Of Glasgow History Of Medicine Prize, 2002

Research Interests

  • Modern Britain
  • History of Medicine
  • Immigration
  • Animal Studies


  • B.A. at University of Melbourne
  • D. Phil. at University of Glasgow



  • The English System:  Quarantine, Immigration and the Making of a Port Sanitary Zone, (Manchester University Press, 2014). Shortlisted for the Royal Historical Society's Whitfield Prize
  • [Co-Editor with Mark Freeman and Elenor Gordon] Medicine, Law and Public Policy in Scotland 1850-1980: Essays Presented to Anne Crowther (Dundee University Press, 2011)


  • ‘Inside Truths: ‘Truth’ and Mental Illness in the Australian Asylum Seeker and Detention Debates,’ Monash Bioethics Review, Vol. 26, No. 4, (October 2007), pp. 47-66.
  • ‘‘In This Miserable Spot Called Quarantine:’ The Healthy and Unhealthy in Nineteenth Century Australian and Pacific Quarantine Stations’ Science in Context, Vol. 19, No. 3, (September, 2006), pp. 317-336.
  • ‘Importing Trachoma: The Introduction into Britain of American Ideas of an ‘Immigrant Disease’, 1892-1906’, Immigrants and Minorities, Vol. 25, No. 1, (March, 2005), pp. 80-99.
  • ‘The First Line of Defence’: British Quarantine and the Port Sanitary Authorities in the Nineteenth Century’, Social History of Medicine, Vol. 15, No. 3, (2002), pp. 413-428.