Author Archives: georginakiddy

Opening hours w/b 9th December

Next week, the History of Medicine Library will be staffed:

Monday 9th: 2.15pm-5pm
Tuesday 10th: 
2.15pm-5pm
Wednesday 11th: 
2.15pm-4.30pm
Thursday 12th: 
2.15pm-5pm
Friday 13th: 
2.15pm-5pm

The Library’s books on the history of medicine are available to search on SOLO, or you can view our newest arrivals on LibraryThing! New readers are always welcome; if you would like to visit please contact us by email or phone to arrange your appointment.

Have a splendid weekend!

An allegory of learning: boys learn to read, write, and calculate in the foreground, in the middleground an elderly man uses dividers on a globe, in the background men take books from shelves. Engraving, 1756. Credit: Wellcome Collection. CC BY

(Nearly) new year, new books!

We may be about to leave 2019 behind us, but fear not, we are doing so with a plethora of new books in our collection! From August to December this year, the History of Medicine Library acquired 45 more books. Whilst most of these have now found their new home on the main shelves of the Library, our New Books Display continues to exhibit some intriguing titles…

Rhinoplasty and the nose in early modern British medicine and culture by Emily Cock

“Challenging histories of plastic surgery that posit a complete disappearance of Gaspare Tagliacozzi’s rhinoplasty operation after his death in 1599, Rhinoplasty and the nose in early modern British medicine and culture traces knowledge of the procedure within the early modern British medical community, through to its impact on the nineteenth-century revival of skin-flap facial surgeries. The book explores why such a procedure was controversial, and the cultural importance of the nose, offering critical readings of literary noses from Shakespeare to Laurence Sterne. Medical knowledge of the graft operation was accompanied by a spurious story that the nose would be constructed from flesh purchased from a social inferior, and would drop off when that person died. The volume therefore explores this narrative in detail for its role in the procedure’s stigmatisation, its engagement with the doctrine of medical sympathy, and its unique attempt to commoditise living human flesh.” (Published by Manchester University Press)

Shell Shock Doctors: Neuropsychiatry in the Trenches, 1914-18 by A D Sandy Macleod

“Shell shock was the signature injury of the First World War. Military doctors during the conflict on the Western Front observed and personally experienced psychiatric states they had never witnessed before. This text reviews the published medical literature of that era which graphically detailed the clinical states of hysteria (conversion disorder) and neurasthenia (anxiety and PTSD). Medical officers at the front evolved pragmatic medicinal, cognitive and behavioural interventions, still practised today, though never scientifically proven to be effective. The doctors, like their patients, endured numerous horrors at the front, which were, for many, to influence their post-war personal and professional lives. Much of what they wrote was forgotten and deserves reconsideration. Neuropsychiatry was founded in the shell craters of Flanders.” (Published by Cambridge Scholars Publishing)

Anxious Times: Medicine & modernity in nineteenth-century Britain by Amelia Bonea, Melissa Dickson, Sally Shuttleworth and Jennifer Wallis

“Much like the Information Age of the twenty-first century, the Industrial Age was a period of great social changes brought about by rapid industrialization and urbanization, speed of travel, and global communications. The literature, medicine, science, and popular journalism of the nineteenth century attempted to diagnose problems of the mind and body that such drastic transformations were thought to generate: a range of conditions or “diseases of modernity” resulting from specific changes in the social and physical environment. The alarmist rhetoric of newspapers and popular periodicals, advertising various “neurotic remedies,” in turn inspired a new class of physicians and quack medical practices devoted to the treatment and perpetuation of such conditions.

Anxious Times examines perceptions of the pressures of modern life and their impact on bodily and mental health in nineteenth-century Britain. The authors explore anxieties stemming from the potentially harmful impact of new technologies, changing work and leisure practices, and evolving cultural pressures and expectations within rapidly changing external environments. Their work reveals how an earlier age confronted the challenges of seemingly unprecedented change, and diagnosed transformations in both the culture of the era and the life of the mind.” (Published by University of Pittsburgh Press)

Other titles include:

For a full list of this year’s new books, please check out our LibraryThing page. If you would like to consult any of these titles and more, then feel free to visit us at 45 Banbury Road! We are open most weekday afternoons from 2.15pm until 5pm, but please do check our weekly blog posts for our accurate opening hours. If you haven’t visited the History of Medicine Library before, then please do email us at historyofmedicine@bodleian.ox.ac.uk in order to arrange your initial visit. See you soon!

Seminars in the History of Science, Medicine and Technology – Week 8, 2nd December

Who? This term’s final lecture will be given by Dr Bénédicte Prot (Oxford and Swiss National Science Foundation), who will be speaking about ‘Putting medicine and literature in dialogue: the case of the French doctor Jean-Louis Alibert (1768-1837)’.

What? ‘Jean-Louis Alibert (1768-1837) remains a famous French physician, clinician, professor and dermatologist at Saint-Louis Hospital in Paris in the early 19th century. Focused on his life, work and posterity, this talk deals with Alibert’s early poems and explores his literary network, including his role of mentor for poets. It also examines Alibert’s printed texts and their reception. Here the style of the doctor-writer is crucial not only for medical writing but also for questioning fame, recognition, disqualification and image of the great doctor. This case study thus emphasizes different types of interactions and some tensions between literature and medicine during the first decades of the 19th century in France. More broadly, it aims to contribute to an interdisciplinary and cultural history of medicine and physicians.’

Where? History Faculty Lecture Theatre, George Street, Oxford

When? Monday 2nd December 2019, 16:00.

This lecture has been organised by the Oxford Centre for the History of Science, Medicine and Technology as part of the Seminars in the History of Science, Medicine and Technology series.

All welcome to attend!

Opening hours w/b 2nd December

Next week, the History of Medicine Library will be staffed:

Monday 2nd: 2.15pm-5pm
Tuesday 3rd: 
2.15pm-5pm
Wednesday 4th: 
2.15pm-4.30pm
Thursday 5th: 
2.15pm-5pm
Friday 6th: 
2.15pm-5pm

The Library’s books on the history of medicine are available to search on SOLO, or you can view our newest arrivals on LibraryThing! New readers are always welcome; if you would like to visit please contact us by email or phone to arrange your appointment.

Have a splendid weekend!

A fashionable doctor’s wife bids him goodbye for the weekend and tells him to stay away from the nasty influenza. Reproduction of a drawing after F. Pegram, 1934. Credit: Wellcome Collection. CC BY

Opening hours w/b 25th November

Next week, the History of Medicine Library will be staffed:

Monday 25th: 2.15pm-5pm
Tuesday 26th: 
2.15pm-5pm
Wednesday 27th: 
2.15pm-4.30pm
Thursday 28th: 
2.15pm-5pm
Friday 29th: 
2.15pm-5pm

The Library’s books on the history of medicine are available to search on SOLO, or you can view our newest arrivals on LibraryThing! New readers are always welcome; if you would like to visit please contact us by email or phone to arrange your appointment.

Have a splendid weekend!

Seminars in the History of Science, Medicine and Technology – Week 7, 25th November

UPDATE: This lecture has been cancelled due to UCU strike action.

Who? Next Monday’s seminar will be given by Dr Jacob Ward, who will be speaking about ‘Thatcherism and the Information Age: How the British Telecom Infrastructure Changed Politics’.

What? ‘In 1984, Margaret Thatcher privatised British Telcom for almost £4 billion, then the largest stock flotation in history. BT’s sale popularised privatisation as a key neoliberal policy in Britain and around the world, showing that governments could successfully sell their national infrastructures to the private sector.

This paper argues that BT’s history cannot simply be understood as an example of politicians transforming infrastructure, but instead shows how information technology has mediated political change. I begin by using institutional sociology and infrastructure studies to argue that political change, like technological change, is not a linear process from idea to action, but instead one that is shaped by infrastructure and institutions like British Telecom.

I show this through a history of how telecom engineers and managers computerized and digitalized BT’s network to protect its monopoly for Britain’s ‘second industrial revolution’, complicating BT’s move from public to private. I conclude by considering how, as infrastructure mediates radical political change, we can approach infrastructure ownership and development for today’s supposed ‘fourth industrial revolution’.

Where? History Faculty Lecture Theatre, George Street, Oxford

When? Monday 25th November 2019, 16:00.

This lecture has been organised by the Oxford Centre for the History of Science, Medicine and Technology as part of the Seminars in the History of Science, Medicine and Technology series.

All welcome to attend!

Opening hours w/b 18th November – UPDATED

Update: Due to staff training, on Thursday 21st the Library will be staffed 3-5pm.

Next week, the History of Medicine Library will be staffed:

Monday 18th: 2.15pm-5pm
Tuesday 19th: 
2.15pm-5pm
Wednesday 20th: 
2.15pm-4.30pm
Thursday 21st:
3pm-5pm
Friday 22nd: 
2.15pm-5pm

The Library’s books on the history of medicine are available to search on SOLO, or you can view our newest arrivals on LibraryThing! New readers are always welcome; if you would like to visit please contact us by email or phone to arrange your appointment.

Have a splendid weekend!

‘The Herball or Generall Historie of Plants’, book, London,. Credit: Science Museum, London. CC BY

Seminars in the History of Science, Medicine and Technology – Week 6, 18th November

Who? Next Monday’s seminar will be given by Dr Simon Mays, who will be speaking about ‘Humanising the past: the case of the skeletons from Stonehenge’.

What? ‘Archaeology lies at the interface between the sciences and the humanities, drawing on traditions of both. In the study human skeletal remains (ostearchaeology), theoretical as well as methodological approaches from the sciences have become dominant. This had led to a narrowing of the discipline. Testing of hypotheses using statistical analyses of large data sets has come to be regarded as the main and, in the eyes of some, the only valid way of conducting osteoarchaeology. In recent years this has begun to be questioned. There is a rise in an osteoarchaeology in which the focus is not on patterns at a population level but rather the construction of narratives of lives of individuals from their skeletons. Such approaches were arguably stimulated by the need to use scientific analyses to present osteoarchaeology to the public in an engaging way. However, the rise of this ‘osteobiographical’ approach may also signal a theoretical realignment in which concepts from the humanities are once again perceived as providing a fruitful basis for osteoarchaeological enquiry. As ever, the difficulty lies in reconciling these ‘two cultures’ in a fruitful way. I will illustrate these points with a study of the osteobiographies of some skeletons from Stonehenge.’

Where? History Faculty Lecture Theatre, George Street, Oxford

When? Monday 18th November 2019, 16:00.

This lecture has been organised by the Oxford Centre for the History of Science, Medicine and Technology as part of the Seminars in the History of Science, Medicine and Technology series.

All welcome to attend!

Opening hours w/b 11th November

Next week, the History of Medicine Library will be staffed:

Monday 11th: Unstaffed
Tuesday 12th: 
2.15pm-5pm
Wednesday 13th: 
2.15pm-4.30pm
Thursday 14th: 
2.15pm-5pm
Friday 15th: 
Unstaffed

The Library’s books on the history of medicine are available to search on SOLO, or you can view our newest arrivals on LibraryThing! New readers are always welcome; if you would like to visit please contact us by email or phone to arrange your appointment.

Have a splendid weekend!

Wellcome library: view of library book stack. Credit: Wellcome Collection. CC BY

 

Seminars in the History of Science, Medicine and Technology – Week 5, 11th November

Who? Next Monday’s seminar will be given by Professor Harvey Brown (University of Oxford), who will be speaking about ‘What was Einstein’s real achievement in his 1905 theory of special relativity?’

What? ‘Several years before Einstein published his 1905 theory of special relativity, ether theorists had essentially discovered the main relativistic effects predicted by the theory: length contraction, time dilation and the relativity of simultaneity. In this lecture I will argue that Einstein’s work was more than a novel exercise in packaging (providing a “principle” rather than “constructive” approach). It also introduced a completely unprecedented way of understanding the physical meaning of the mathematics of motion.’

Where? History Faculty Lecture Theatre, George Street, Oxford

When? Monday 11th November 2019, 16:00.

This lecture has been organised by the Oxford Centre for the History of Science, Medicine and Technology as part of the Seminars in the History of Science, Medicine and Technology series.

All welcome to attend!