Maura Ratia

Ratia is currently working as a Postdoctoral Researcher.

Her main interests lie in the early modern period and in the language of medicine. She is a long-time member of the Scientific Thought-styles project where she is also working with 18th century material. At the moment Ratia is studying representations of poverty in plague treatises of the Stuart period. She is also intrigued by genre and tries to examine how genre conventions are manifested in plague treatises. In her PhD (2011), Ratia analyzed argumentative strategies in the early modern medical controversy over tobacco. She likes to teach and has taught many courses at the University of Helsinki and at the Open University.

Contact information


PhD, Postdoctoral Researcher

PL 24, 00014 Helsingin yliopisto, Finland

Phone: +358 (0)50-4482253, 21633

E-mail: maura.ratia(at)

Research interests

I am interested in plague treatises of the Stuart period. During that time a considerable number of texts were published due to the recurring plague epidemics which have not gained attention from linguists. The most intriguing topic emerging from these texts is the attitude towards the poor as it defines other polemical issues that were debated at the time, for example, quarantine regulations and fleeing. My ultimate goal is to obtain knowledge on attitudes and arguments about the poor and on the impact the plague had on people’s lives. The term ‘poor’ is used widely to refer to a heterogeneous group of people including beggars, vagrants as well as the laboring poor. In fact, this group of people comprised a majority of the population in early modern Europe.


historical linguistics, historical pragmatics, corpus linguistics; early modern England, history of medicine, the plague, poverty; discourse analysis, keyword analysis; genre, title pages; personal pronouns, emotive features (affect)

Research profile in TUHAT

Recent publications