Monthly Archives: February 2015

Wellcome Unit Seminars Monday 9th February

‘Visual and Material Culture in the History of Medicine’
Conveners: Sloan Mahone and Erica Charters

Week 4 – 9 February

Anna Faherty, Kingston University

Collections and curiosity: How museum and archive exhibits promote wonder, learning and outrage

Anna Faherty is a Senior Lecturer on the MA Publishing and also runs her own content development and digital publishing consultancy. Working across the publishing, museum and charity sectors, she is dedicated to developing and implementing high quality publishing and communications projects, which deliver non-financial outcomes as well as sustainable profits.

Anna has hands-on management experience as director of a multi-million pound publishing division and board member of a small independent museum. She has held editorial positions within major academic publishers, including Pearson, Palgrave Macmillan and Hodder Education. Her consultancy clients include the Design Museum, Jeans for Genes, National Maritime Museum, Oxford University Press, Quercus Publishers, Royal Botanic Gardens Kew, Royal Observatory Greenwich, Sage, Taylor & Francis, Time Out, the V&A Museum and Wiley. Anna also writes learning resources for teachers, families and school learners. She has appeared on Radio 4, BBC online and local radio and has been interviewed by the Independent and Guardian newspapers.

Coffee will be available from 14:00. Seminars begin at 14:15 prompt. Please note there is no parking available at the Unit.

New: e-access to Journal of Medical Biography, 1993 (v.1) onwards

[Re-blogged from The Bodleian History Faculty Library Blog]

I am pleased to report that Oxford users now have e-access to the Journal of Medical Biography [ISSN 0967-7720] from vol. 1, 1993 onwards.

Journal of medical biography - coverAccess is via SOLO or OU eJournals. For remote access, Oxford users should use their SSO login.

A peer-reviewed international journal of the Royal Society of Medicine, it covers the lives of people in or associated with medicine.

“… The Journal of Medical Biography covers medical personalities and many others in the field of health care, hospitals, instruments, techniques and so on. It features original research on persons and places, legendary and less well known, and provides a fresh new perspective on life and lives.” Sage Journals,

You can register for email alerts and set up an RSS feed. For more on current awareness tools, see handouts from Bodleian iSkills courses on Getting Information Come To You.

TORCH: Consulting by letter: The sad case of Mme de la Buretière

Professor Laurence Brockliss will give paper entitled ‘Consulting by letter: The sad case of Mme de la Buretière’ at the next session of the TORCH Enlightenment Correspondences Network, to be held on Thursday, 12 February (Fourth Week), from 12.30 til 2, at Ertegun House (37A St. Giles’).

Consulting by letter was commonplace in the eighteenth century and several collections survive which contain the patient’s original communication as well as the doctor’s advice. Such letters are a good way in to understanding how better off men and women thought and talked about their bodies. The paper will begin by saying something about the genre in general, then concentrate on the exchange in 1724-5 between Mme de la Buretière of Chateaudun and the Parisian physician and academician, Etienne-Francois Geoffroy.

***Please RSVP to by Friday, 6 February, if you plan to attend, to help us get an accurate count for the free lunch and cater to any special dietary requirements.****

TORCH: one-day interdisciplinary workshop on Reading and Replicating Bodies

Reading and Replicating Bodies:
Mimicry in Medicine and Culture, 1790-1914
26th March 2015
10.45-18.00 (registration from 9.45)

In the Nineteenth century, to read a body was to replicate it. From making
anatomical drawings to designing prosthetics, medical practices duplicated human tissue
on an unprecedented scale. Yet this urge to copy was also tainted, and literary depictions
of scientists – from Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein to H. G. Wells’ The Island of Dr Moreau –
cast the desire to replicate a living body as absorbing and abhorrent in turn.
Replication was also an important topic in the era’s sciences of mind. Writers
such as Charles Bell, Charles Darwin and James Mark Baldwin, depicted humans as
mirrors, believing an innate compulsion to imitate could explain the development of
sympathy (later empathy) language and laws. Yet, here imitation was also problematic,
framed as a primitive impulse, most violently displayed by the period’s ‘othered’ bodies:
hysterics, non-Europeans, women, the deaf and the degenerate.
This workshop will explore how Victorian science, medicine and the arts
interacted to construct the body as an object and subject of imitation. It will consider
how much of today’s ambivalence about replicating bodies – from ethical questions
about cloning to the much-hyped concept of ‘mirror neurons’ – do we owe to practices
and concepts from the Nineteenth century.

* Registration is free, but booking is essential as places are limited. *
* Postgraduate Bursaries Available*

Organised by Dr Will Abberley (Oxford) and Dr Tiffany Watt Smith (QMUL)

SPEAKERS include
Christopher Pittard (University of Portsmouth): ‘V for Ventriloquism: Powers of Vocal
Mimicry in Henry Cockton’s Valentine Vox’.
Tiziana Morosetti (University of Oxford): ‘Exotic Bodies on the 19th-century British
Stage: Empire in Miniature’.
Louise Lee (University of Roehampton), ‘Re-reading the Scientist as Specimen: Edward
Lear, the Fugitive Poets and the Politics of Whimsy’.
Carolyn Burdett (Birkbeck, University of London), ‘Mimicry, Motor Types and
Memory: Vernon Lee and Aesthetic Empathy’.
Angie Dustan (University of Kent) ‘Reading Sculptural Replication: Authentic Bodies in
Victorian Literature’.

Two postgraduate bursaries are available to cover the costs of travel to and from Oxford
and one-night’s accommodation. To apply, please email the organisers with a brief bio
and personal statement (max 400 words) explaining why you should receive a bursary
before the deadline of Friday the 27th February 2015. Preference will be given to
applicants whose research interests align with the workshop theme and those who will
have further to travel.
The workshop is free to attend, but spaces are limited. To reserve a place, please book a
ticket at:
Seminar Room, The Oxford Research Centre in the Humanities (TORCH), Radcliffe
Humanities Building, Radcliffe Observatory Quarter, Woodstock Road, Oxford, OX2
For more information, please contact the organisers:
Dr Will Abberley,
Dr Tiffany Watt Smith,