Tag Archives: Seminars

Seminars in the History of Science, Medicine and Technology – Week 1, 14th October

This Monday’s seminar will be given by Dr Harry Wu (University of Hong Kong), who will be speaking on ‘Seeing trauma: from invisible reality to emotional imagery’.

‘In the Hollywood film, Billy Lynn’s Long Halftime Walk, the director Ang Lee explores the effect of combat exemplifies the complexities of war trauma by his experiment in constructing reality with RealD technology. Such “over-pursuit” reveals the century-long efforts cineastes and experimental psychologists have been trying to unravel. Since mid-19th century, psychologists have been using image technologies to visualise the “stigmata” of trauma in individual’s mind. These images, produced by photography and videography, have been used not only to study mental illnesses, but also as an archiving method and a medium to deliver knowledge.

In this presentation, I first survey the history of the documentation of traumatized soldiers to look at the efforts made by filmmakers to better capture the manifestation of trauma in front of their camera. And then I refer to scientists’ attempts at developing methods, including emotional mental imagery, to better understand the neurophysiological mechanism of PTSD from 1970s onwards. Finally, I argue, a more complete picture of trauma in images, including various individuals’ conceptualization and interpretation of trauma and how the narrative forms of interpretation produce meaning for those who experience the events, will only transpire when one finally ignores the excessive quest of the cinematic reality or imagery.’

When? Monday 14th October 2019, 16:00.

Where? History Faculty Lecture Theatre, George Street, Oxford

This lecture has been organised by the Oxford Centre for the History of Science, Medicine and Technology.

All welcome to attend! For more information on this term’s seminars see the Unit’s webpage.

Seminars in the History of Science, Medicine and Technology- Week 3, 29th January

This Monday’s seminar will be given by Professor Megan Vaughan (UCL), who will be speaking on ‘A research enclave in 1940s Nigeria : the Rockefeller Foundation Yellow Fever Research Institute at Yaba, Lagos, 1943-1949’.

‘This paper examines the history of yellow fever research in West Africa in the 1940s, funded by the Rockefeller Foundation.  It describes an American-led, sometimes cutting edge programme of work in the field of virology, carried out in the conditions of wartime in a British colony. The scientific ambition and sophistication of this research enclave collided with the reality of a chronically under-funded colonial infrastructure and the neglect of public health.  The paper engages with a number of debates in the history of medical research in colonial Africa, including experimentation, the construction of the “field,” and the “laboratory”, and with questions of biosecurity.’

When? Monday 29th January, 16:00. Tea and coffee will be available in the Common Room from 15.30.

Where? History Faculty Lecture Theatre, George Street, Oxford

The HSMT Seminar series is convened by Professor Rob Iliffe, Dr Sloan Mahone, Dr Erica Charters, Dr Roderick Bailey and Dr Atsuko Naono, of the Wellcome Unit for the History of Medicine.
All welcome to attend! For more information on this term’s seminars see the Unit’s webpage:  https://www.wuhmo.ox.ac.uk/termly-seminars

Some background reading from the Wellcome Unit Library:

Megan Vaughan, Curing their ills : colonial power and African illness (Cambridge: Polity, 1991) – R651 VAU 1991

François Delaporte, The history of yellow fever : an essay on the birth of tropical medicine (Cambridge, Mass., M.I.T. Press, 1991) – RC210 DEL 1991

Alfred Jay Bollet, Plagues & poxes : the impact of human history on epidemic disease (New York: Demos, 2002) – RA649 BOL 2004 (also available for Oxford University members as an ebook)

Hormoz Ebrahimnejad (ed.), The development of modern medicine in non-western countries: historical perspectives (London: Routledge, 2009) – R581 DEV 2009






Seminars in the History of Science, Medicine and Technology- Week 6, 13th November

Speaker: Andrew Lea (University of Oxford)

Title: Computers, Material Culture, and the Definitions of Disease

Abstract: In 1947, the Cornell psychiatrist Keeve Brodman and a handful of colleagues began developing what would become one of the most widely used health questionnaires of its time—the Cornell Medical Index (CMI). A rigidly standardised form, the CMI presented 195 yes-no questions designed to capture the health status of ‘the total patient’. Over the following decades, Brodman’s project of standardising medical history taking gradually evolved into a project of mathematising and computerising diagnosis: out of the CMI grew the Medical Data Screen (MDS), an early computerised method of deriving diagnoses from patient data. At the same time Brodman was beginning to work towards the MDS, another research team, headed by the television pioneer Vladimir Zworykin, was developing a computer program that they hoped would make accurate diagnoses in the field of hematology. This talk examines these two early efforts to computerise diagnosis as entry points into a larger discussion of the role of computers in shaping our definitions—and ultimately our experience—of disease.

Where?: History Faculty Lecture Theatre, George Street, Oxford

When?: Monday 13th November at 16.00. Tea and coffee will be available from 15.30 in the Common Room.

Seminars convened by Professor Rob Iliffe, Dr Sloan Mahone, Dr Erica Charter, Dr Roderick Bailey and Dr Atsuko Naono of the Wellcome Unit for the History of Medicine, Oxford.
More information about this term’s seminars can be found here.

Talk: “Cholera and the Politics of Disposability in Harare’s High-Density Townships”

African Studies Centre Seminar Series: “Cholera and the Politics of Disposability in Harare’s High-Density Townships”

Thursday 17 November – 5pm

Pavilion Room, St Antony’s College, Oxford

Speaker: Simukai Chigudu (University of Oxford)

“In August 2008, the impoverished high-density townships in Harare’s metropolitan area were engulfed by a devastating cholera epidemic. The disease rapidly spread throughout Zimbabwe resulting in an unprecedented 98,000 cases and over 4,000 deaths, thereby becoming the largest and most extensive cholera outbreak in recorded African history. In the aftermath of the epidemic, questions of suffering, rescue, relief, and rehabilitation have persisted beyond the fixed scientific and statistical realities of disease epidemiology, body counts, and reconstruction costs. Rather, they have continued to exist in on-going processes of meaning-making through which people grasp and come to terms with the epidemic as a socio-political event. In Zimbabwe’s divided and contentious political environment, this involves polarised claims about what really happened and about who the heroes and villains of the outbreak were. In this presentation, I focus on the views of residents in the townships where the epidemic first fulminated. I ask how residents of Harare’s high-density townships understood and experienced the cholera outbreak in terms of Zimbabwe’s larger social, economic, and political dynamics. By examining the narratives of township residents, I suggest that the retelling of experiences of the outbreak is significant not only for bringing hitherto undocumented narratives to light, but also for what such retelling says of those narrators themselves and for the way that the social construction of the cholera disaster occurs and is committed to historical memory.”

Simukai Chigudu is a DPhil candidate in International Development at the University of Oxford, where he holds a Hoffman-Weidenfeld Scholarship. He has an eclectic academic background having received training in Medicine at Newcastle University, Public Health at Imperial College London and African Studies at the University of Oxford. Simukai has previously worked and conducted research in Zimbabwe, Uganda, The Gambia, Tanzania and South Africa. Prior to taking up his studies at Oxford, he worked as a medical doctor in the UK’s National Health Service.

Millie Oates and Jordan Hankinson, Admin Team

African Studies Centre, School of Interdisciplinary Area Studies

University of Oxford, 13 Bevington Road, Oxford OX2 6NB

Web: http://www.africanstudies.ox.ac.uk/ Twitter: @AfricaOxfordUni


ArgO-EMR Seminars (Anthropology Research Group at Oxford on Eastern Medicines and Religions)

unioxflogoUniversity of Oxford
School of Anthropology
51 Banbury Road, Oxford, OX2 6PE


ArgO-EMR Seminars
The Anthropology Research Group at Oxford on Eastern Medicines and Religions

Wednesdays 5–6.30pm
Pauling Centre, 58a Banbury Road
Michaelmas Term 2016

“Botanical Ontologies in Asian Medicine”

Week 1,   12 Oct        Jan M.A. van der Valk
(School of Anthropology and Conservation, University of Kent)
Testing Tibetan materia medica scientifically: Hybrid ontologies in practice?

Week 3,   26 Oct        Dr Calum Blaikie
(Institute for Social Anthropology, Austrian Academy of Sciences)
Re-routing rhizomes: Himalayan plants and properties in transit

Week 5,   9 Nov        Dr Stephan Kloos
(Institute for Social Anthropology, Austrian Academy of Sciences)
Reassembling Sowa Rigpa:
From traditional culture to plant-based knowledge industries

Week 7,   23 Nov        Manuel Campinas
(London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine)
A comparative exposition of Chinese and Russian botanical ontologies

Convenors: Elisabeth Hsu and Paola Esposito
elisabeth.hsu@anthro.ox.ac.uk, paola.esposito@anthro.ox.ac.uk


Seminar: Troubled Minds: “Madness”, Fear and Colonial Exclusion in Saint-Domingue

Early Modern Worlds Seminar, Thursday 13 October, 11.15 am

History Faculty, George St., Oxford

All welcome

Troubled Minds: “Madness”, Fear and Colonial Exclusion in Saint-Domingue

Marie Houllemare (Amiens)

By looking in depth at 38 other legal cases of insane free men from the French Caribbean colonies in the 18th century, this paper deals with the way “madness” was described, interpreted and dealt with in Saint-Domingue. What was labelled as mad in St-Domingue was in most cases a disruptive behaviour favoured or generated by slavery society and translated into European medical and legal languages. This legal category crystallised several patterns of troubling conduct but generated only one legal answer: systematic exclusion of troublesome people identified as mad.

Ancient Medicine Seminar: Michaelmas 2016

Ancient Medicine Seminar

An interdisciplinary research seminar, intended to bring together those inside the University and elsewhere who have an interest in disease and medicine in the ancient world.

Alternate Wednesdays in Term: 5:30 – 7:00pm
Barclay Room, Green Templeton College

Michaelmas Term 2016

6th October
Professor Robert Arnott (Division of Medical Sciences)
Eva Dumann (New College)
Malaria and the Indus Civilisation

9th November
Professor Helen King (Open University)
Representing the uterus in terracotta, metal and fabric: votive wombs revisited

23rd November
Vivien Shaw (Brighton and Sussex Medical School)
Was acupuncture developed by Han Dynasty Chinese Anatomists?

7th December
Dr Alasdair Watson (Bodleian Library and Oriental Institute)
Supplementary Books to Dioscorides’ material medica in the Arab tradition

Professor Robert Arnott
Dr Moudhy Al-Rashid
Dr Mallica Kumbera Landrus

For further details and to be added to the mailing list
please email robert.arnott@medsci.ox.ac.uk


FUNDED BYTorch logo

Seminar: Fashionable Diseases of Georgian Life

Fashionable Diseases of Georgian Life: Literature, Medicine and Culture in the Eighteenth Century and Beyond

Thursday 2 June 2016, 4.00 – 6.30 p.m.
Seminar Room 8, St Anne’s College, Woodstock Road, Oxford

All welcome, no booking required. Seats available on a first-come, first-served basis.

Drinks will be served after the seminar.

Fashionable Diseases: Medicine, Literature and Culture, ca 1660-1832 is a three-year, Leverhulme-funded research project at the Universities of Northumbria and Newcastle. In this seminar, hosted by the Diseases of Modern Life project, team members will showcase some of their research through short presentations followed by discussion.

Presentations will include the paradoxical fashionability of gout and rheumatism, the roles of gender, class and health professionals in fashioning fashionable disease, to the manner in which treatments and their locations were implicated in the fashionability or otherwise of disease. The seminar will also consider the crucial role of representation and genre in the creation, maintenance and decline of fashionable disease.

Dr Jonathan Andrews and Dr James Kennaway (Newcastle University). Gout and rheumatism as female maladies: the advantages and disadvantages of fashionable diseases from the sufferer’s perspective in Georgian Britain.

Professor Clark Lawlor (Northumbria University) ‘On Fashion in Physic’: the feminisation of fashionable disease in the very long eighteenth century.

Ashleigh Blackwood (Northumbria University) – ‘The most sudden and dreadful hysteric, or nervous disorders’: Women, Fashionable Diagnosis and Remedy.

Professor Allan Ingram (Northumbria University) Doctoring the Doctors: In Fashion and Out?

Dr Leigh Wetherall Dickson (Northumbria University) Delusions of Grandeur/ Illusions of Disease.

Dr Anita O’Connell (Northumbria University) Sociability and Disease at the Spas: Satires of a Hypochondriac Society.

Argo-EMR ‘Bio-politics in East Asia’ seminar series

Two lectures to be given by
Prof Akihito Suzuki
(School of Economics, Keio University, Japan)

Lecture 1 (as part of Argo-EMR, Department of Anthropology seminar series Bio-politics in East Asia)
Wednesday 11 May 2016, 5–6.30pm, Pauling Centre, 58a Banbury Road

Poisons, Possession, and Bacteriology in Modern Japan: Integration of Socio-Cultural Concepts and Biomedical Practices in the Late Nineteenth Century

Convenors: Seonsam Na and Theresia Hofer

Lecture 2 (hosted by Green Templeton College)
Thursday 12 May 2016, 11am-12.30 pm, Barclay Room, Green Templeton College

Voices of Madness: Psychiatric Case History and Literature in Modern Japan

Convenors:Mark Harrison and Seonsam Na

Prof Suzuki is a medical historian working on social history of medicine and mental health. He has been teaching at the Department of Economics, Keio University since 1997. He received PhD from University College London. He was the recipient of Eric Carlson Award in History of Medicine in 2014 and his book Madness at Home The Psychiatrist, the Patient, and the Family in England, 1820-1860 (University of California Press) received Kei Gijuku Proze from Keio University.

Wellcome Unit Seminars, Monday 14th October

‘Structures of Medical Knowledge’

Conveners: Drs Erica Charters and Elise Smith

Wellcome Unit for the History of Medicine,
Seminar Room, 47 Banbury Road, Oxford, OX2 6PE

The seminars are on Mondays at 2.15pm
Coffee will be available from 2.00pm

The first of the termly Unit seminars will be held on Monday

Week 1 – 14 October

Laura Dawes, University of Cambridge

Childhood Obesity in America: Biography of an Epidemic

Laura Dawes is the Events and Outreach Officer at the Department of the History and Philosophy of Science at the University of Cambridge, whose research interests include the history of medicine since 1800; health activism; medicine and the law; public health; and childhood obesity. Laura has recently finished a book titled Husky John and Chubby Jane: A Century of Childhood Obesity in America which will be published by Oxford University Press (USA) in 2014. The book examines changes in understanding, diagnosis and treatment of childhood obesity since 1900. The later part of the book is about legal and public health approaches to the current childhood obesity epidemic. Her new project is a medical history of “phossy jaw”, a disease of 19th century match manufacturers. A similar condition today affects myeloma cancer sufferers who are treated with bisphonates. Along with investigating the nature of phossy jaw and its treatment, the book looks at the role doctors played—or failed to play—in early industrial hygiene and safety regulation. She also writes the Doctor Then blog, on the history behind current medical events at www.doctorthen.wordpress.com.