Abstracts Archive

Histories of the German psychiatric reform usually identify the origin of this process with the so-called Psychiatrie-Enquete. The Enquete, published in 1975, consisted of a comprehensive report of the status quo and concrete recommendations for a structural reorganization of the West German psychiatric care system: community orientation; patient-c...

Medicine and HealthOrganized Session

Anatomy is a widespread metaphor among eighteenth-century British authors. Besides its proper meaning in medical contexts, ‘anatomy’ is frequently put into phrases such as ‘anatomy of nature’, ‘of the mind’, ‘of human nature’, or ‘of the light’. The common core of these different uses refers to some methodized study of the realm...

Medicine and HealthOrganized Session

Research located at the nexus of medicine, knowledge, and translation deals with some of the fundamentals of human experience: the most basic drive to survive and flourish, and the urge to gather and share information. Living with a constant reminder about the fragility of the human condition, people across all levels of society have sought new inf...

Medicine and HealthOrganized Session

Since the eighteenth century, childbirth in Western medicine has been understood as a mechanical procedure consisting of a regular sequence of foetal movements through the mother’s womb. At the beginning of the twentieth century, the reasons for these movements were not yet understood. What kind of mechanical and expulsive forces were at work in ...

Medicine and HealthOrganized Session

Exploring materials from the period of British administration of Tanganyika, this paper examines initiatives at controlling and preventing plague outbreaks in the areas surrounding Mwanza town in the decades following World War I (1920s-1930s). It focuses on various scientific attempts to eradicate rodents, seen as the main vector of fleas and of t...

Medicine and HealthOrganized Session

Fundamental to the work of William Hunter and his assistants at the Great Windmill Street school in London was the collecting of anatomical preparations. Not only were these preparations vital to teaching at the school, their making provided visual and tactile information that was the basis for many of the anatomical discoveries associated with the...

Medicine and HealthContributed Paper

This paper will examine the history of psychiatry through the lens of the refugee camp, which, I argue, has served as an instrument of accumulation and extraction of knowledge about refugees and their mental (ill)health. Though the voices of refugees are often absent from the psychiatric knowledge created about them, they have nonetheless contribut...

Medicine and HealthContributed Paper

Inspired mainly by the example of Italian ‘Democratic psychiatry’, around the mid-nineteen eighties, the policies of both Dutch government and the field of mental health care turned towards the aim of deinstitutionalization. Official governmental directives included the gradual dismantling of some of the larger mental hospitals, the increase of...

Medicine and HealthOrganized Session

It’s Paris, 18 April 1910. Eugène-Louis Doyen (1859-1916) takes the stage to deliver a lecture on topographical anatomy. Doyen intends to astonish the crowd with a carnivale moderne of medical science. There will be: lantern-slide projec­tions of color photographs of machine-sliced cross-sections of “scientifically mummified” cadavers; sile...

Medicine and HealthOrganized Session

This paper examines the relationship between early modern accounts of longevity and the figuring of a new order of natural knowledge as a project of experience prodigiously extended, preserved and accumulated. Focusing on the English case, it examines the reinvention of longevity in the second half of the seventeenth century through reports of long...

Medicine and HealthOrganized Session

Informed by the recent achievements of bacteriology, doctors and scientists started researches on the last decades of the 19th century aiming to find a therapeutic serum against snakebites. Among then, one can mention Albert Calmette, a French doctor in duty in Indochina, and Vital Brazil, a Brazilian doctor based in São Paulo. Other than the simi...

Medicine and HealthContributed Paper

In the 1960s and 1970s, the care of individuals with severe and persistent forms of mental illness in mental hospitals came under sustained critique in the developed world. Asylum care was criticized as dehumanizing while several anti-psychiatrists questioned the scientific status of psychiatry. Several countries, led by the United States, the Unit...

Medicine and HealthOrganized Session

Between the 1730s and the 1760s, a number of large bones were found in the Ohio River valley. They were widely believed to be the remains of ancient elephants that had been washed to North America by the Deluge; Buffon and Daubenton also concluded that these were elephant bones. In the 1760s, some of these bones came to London, and to the attention...

Medicine and HealthOrganized Session

Acupuncture analgesia seemed relatively straightforward. The patient lay awake as a practitioner needled selected sites on the body to induce numbness for surgery. Numerous reports emerging from China in the 1970s featured women and men resting on operating tables, smiling into the camera, surrounded by doctors who attended to the excised region—...

Medicine and HealthOrganized Session

This paper explores the entanglement of slavery, medicine and natural inquiry in early modern Italy. It focuses on the healing spaces and practices that developed alongside the creation of a Bagno, a purpose built edifice that housed a large community of up to 3,000 (mostly Ottoman) slaves in the Tuscan port city of Livorno. In the early modern per...

Medicine and HealthOrganized Session

Despite medical advances, healthy living advice in the eighteenth century conveys a strong impression of continuity with the regimen genre from the late-middle ages and Renaissance. Indeed, most continued to be informed by a Galenic understanding of the body, particularly as regards the framework of the six non-naturals. Drawing on my previous rese...

Medicine and HealthOrganized Session

Obstetrical forceps loom large in the history of midwifery as the explanatory mechanism for the emergence of routine male attendance on uncomplicated labors. The forceps, however, were a dynamic object that underwent constant modifications, with incongruous versions often coexisting. In 1751 celebrated man-midwife André Levret (1703–1780) publis...

Medicine and HealthOrganized Session

This paper traces the development and diversification of apparatus for monitoring and tracking blood sugar levels for diabetes. With the discovery and introduction of insulin in the 1920s, juvenile diabetes went from a certain death sentence to a manageable chronic disease, but one that required constant monitoring. Expertise and responsibility for...

Medicine and HealthOrganized Session

How does Locke contribute to the development of projects for a science of the mind, even though he seems to reject or at least bracket off such projects himself? A canonical empiricist, Locke nevertheless goes out of his way to state that his project to investigate and articulate the ‘logic of ideas’ is not a scientific project: “I shall not ...

Medicine and HealthOrganized Session

Since Foucault’s History of Sexuality, sexology has been viewed by historians of science and medicine as a marker of sexual modernism, a category of biopower and an apparatus of discipline and social control. Postcolonial historians of medicine, including historians of the Middle East, have complicated our understanding of sexology as both an ins...

Medicine and HealthOrganized Session

This paper explores the view of Nature expounded by the tenth-century Muslim philosopher Abū al-Ḥasan al-ʿĀmirī (d. 992). al-ʿĀmirī’s understanding of Nature—concerning both its identity and its activity—is a hybridization of Aristotelian natural philosophy and Neoplatonic metaphysics. This background understanding informs his modal ...

Medicine and HealthOrganized Session

Research located at the nexus of medicine, knowledge, and translation deals with some of the fundamentals of human experience: the most basic drive to survive and flourish, and the urge to gather and share information. Living with a constant reminder about the fragility of the human condition, people across all levels of society have sought new inf...

Medicine and HealthOrganized Session

The Dutch anatomist Dr. Frederik Ruysch is best known for his artfully embalmed anatomical specimens. Between roughly 1689 and 1731, Ruysch displayed this collection inside his family home in Amsterdam. Ruysch’s house museum attracted international attention, and became an important space for the creation and dissemination of scientific and anato...

Medicine and HealthFlashtalk

In the past decades, historians of medicine and historians of the body have produced a considerable amount of research on the circulation and transformation of medical knowledge and practices across different social groups, while historians of science and technology have shed light on the role of artisans in the making of science, both intellectual...

Medicine and HealthOrganized Session

1968 is often hailed as the year that “rocked the world.” However, this historical moment is barely evaluated from the realm of medicine. “Hong Kong Flu” pandemic, one of the three worldwide flu pandemics breakout in the last century, was caused by the virus H3N2 and had infected 15 percent of the whole population in 1968. Although its deat...

Medicine and HealthOrganized Session

This paper demonstrates how phrenological tools of character assessment were used to measure marriage compatibility in the nineteenth century. It will examine how the knowledge and practices of cranial measurement produced character “profiles" for the purpose of judging suitable marriage partners. A popular but contested science of the mind, phre...

Medicine and HealthOrganized Session

Transhumanists predict that people will achieve immortality by 2045. While this quest for eternal life has been omnipresent in human history, early modern physicians, philosophers, and lay people particularly strove to identify the key to overcoming death. Between the Renaissance and the Enlightenment changing aesthetics, new approaches to old text...

Medicine and HealthOrganized Session

As Katherine Ott has asserted, disability is “unique in the extent to which it is bonded with technology, tools, and machines as a medium of social interaction.” Objects used by, and made for, disabled people serve as tangible evidence of lived experiences of disability—the constraints of medicine, the limits and expansions of technology, and...

Medicine and HealthContributed Paper

In his Essay Concerning Human Understanding John Locke gives two explanations of intellectual habits and the association of ideas, one a psychophysiological account that has its origins in the Cartesian science of the brain, and the other a purely psychological account that seems to be original with Locke himself. After laying out Locke’s two pos...

Medicine and HealthOrganized Session

The aim of the paper is to outline and interpret the evolution of early forensic psychology and criminal psychology in Hungary by focusing on the notion of criminal responsibility. The question of criminal responsibility was in the core of early forensic psychology in Hungary. Prominent representatives of early forensic psychology and psychiatry su...

Medicine and HealthContributed Paper