Call for Book Chapters on Florence Nightingale: Insights for Pandemic from History

Concept Note:

Communicable disease outbreaks have been rampant in the history of a tropical country like India. As public health agencies in the country rigorously prepare for the current threat of Covid-19 pandemic, it becomes imperative to investigate the cultural, historical, biomedical and literary spheres to look for directives that can modify social behaviour amidst the persisting threat of the pandemic. It is in this context that Florence Nightingale and her body of work becomes relevant. The current study focuses on bringing out a co-edited book that collates research on the life and work of Florence Nightingale with particular attention to public health in the Indian context.

Florence Nightingale, fondly known as “The Lady with the Lamp” was a nurse, statistician, recognized social worker and writer who founded modern nursing. An iconic figure in Victorian England, her influence continues to last globally in several domains, even today. Florence Nightingale was born on May 12, 1820, to wealthy British parents. She was eponymously named after the Italian city of Florence in which she was born. Prompted by a vision which she believed was a ‘call from God’, the young Nightingale decided to enter a life of service despite opposition from her family. Being an unconventional decision for a lady of her reputation, this move unwittingly initiated a significant social change, bringing a new focus on women’s role in society and ushered in a new era where caregiving and nursing gained acceptance and prominence. She is predominantly recognized for her work during the Crimean War, and her body of work has contributed to domains such as hospital hygiene, sanitation and statistics. Nightingale has also extensively worked on the Indian scenario during the British Imperial rule in the background of the 1857 Mutiny.

In this context, we propose to bring out a Co-edited book of interdisciplinary nature under the aegis of a reputed publisher. Chapters are invited from various professionals that include scientists, academicians, researchers, experts in administration, health care, policy-making and war-related work, and interested scholars and historians. Existing literature mostly covers Florence Nightingale’s work in the western context. Here arises a pressing need to bring her work to light concerning India, which could also be relevant to developing economies in general. In today’s world, where medical practices and caregiving have assumed special significance in the light of frequent epidemics and pandemics affecting various parts of the world, it becomes imperative to recognize and reevaluate existing socio-cultural knowledge systems concerning this subject.

The book proposes introducing the life and achievements of Florence Nightingale and the relevance of her work in the present context. Her involvement in the Crimea War and the role that she played there while serving the soldiers and her research and advocacy for Indian soldiers under British rule would also be covered. On the acceptance of your abstract, the prospective authors are requested to give their contribution in the form of a chapter in 4 to 5 months. The book is expected to be useful for administrators, policy planners, health professionals, historians, statisticians, students particularly that of public health and nursing and, academicians and of course the public at large.

Topics may include but are not limited to:

  • a. Florence Nightingale and her impact on Nursing
    b. Socio-Cultural Impact of the body of Nightingale’s work
  • c. Nightingale’s work on India and its impact on army health
  • d. Nightingale and Policy Reforms on Soldier Health
  • e. Nightingale on the Madras Famine of 1987
  • f. The rebellious life of Florence Nightingale
  • g. Underlining Health reforms ushered by Nightingale
  • h. The literary impact of Nightingale
  • i. The relevance of Nightingale in History
  • j. Nightingale and her vision of health reform
  • k. Women Involvement and its Criticism with reference to Nightingale
  • l. Reading Nightingale
  • m. Nightingale as the voice of the marginalized
  • n. Statistics in Nursing and Nightingale
  • o. Public Health and the impact on Agriculture—Nightingale’s view
  • p. Nightingale on Nursing Policy
  • q. The relevance of Nightingale in the modern context
  • r. Medical Humanities and Nightingale
  • s. Nightingale in Nursing Research and Education


Dr. Pankaj Sarup Bhatnagar, Scientist E and Head of Office at the Western Regional Centre, Zoological Survey of India (Ministry of Environment, Forests & Climate Change, Govt of India), Pune 411 044, INDIA

Dr. Aparna N, Assistant Professor in English, Department of Humanities and Social Sciences, Indian Institute of Technology Ropar, INDIA.

Please send an abstract of 250 words and a brief bio-note to the editors at by March 7, 2021. On accepting your abstract, you may send in original, unpublished essays of 6000-8000 words (including notes and references) on the above and related topics. You may contact us with any queries you might have at

Publication timeline/schedule:

Last date for the submission of abstract: March 7, 2021 Intimation of acceptance/rejection of abstracts: March 30, 2021 Submission of the full article: July 30, 2021

*Note: the CFA shows a closing date of March but the editors are able to consider reasonable extensions for BAVS members who are interested in this book project.

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