Glasgow History of Medicine Seminars, RCPSG

The Centre for the History of Medicine (part of the Institute of Health and Wellbeing at Glasgow University) and the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Glasgow invite you to a series of free seminars on medical history.

Venue: Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Glasgow, Library Reading Room, 232-242 St Vincent St, Glasgow, G2 5RJ

Time: Coffee and biscuits from 5pm. Talks begin at 5:30pm

Booking: email library@rcpsg.ac.uk or call 0141 221 6072. This event is free but please contact us to book as places are limited.

Tuesday 10th October

Dr Steven Craig (University of Glasgow), ‘”Enquire into all the Circumstances of the Patient Narrowly”: John Rutherford’s Clinical Lectures, Edinburgh, 1749-1753’

Tuesday 7th November

Professor Tilli Tansey (Queen Mary University of London), ‘Witnessing Recent Medical History’

Tuesday 5th December

Professor Sam Cohn (FRSE, University of Glasgow), ‘Epidemics: Hate and Compassion from the Plague of Athens to AIDS: Towards a Conclusion’

Lecture: Wendy Kline, ‘Making the Invisible Visible: The Unexpected Entanglements of Psychiatry, Midwifery, and Psychedelics’, Glasgow

Location: University of Strathclyde, Stenhouse Wing, Room 105

Date: 5-6.30pm, Tuesday 10th October 2017

The Centre of the Social History of Health and Healthcare (CSHHH) invites you to their annual lecture, by Wendy Kline (Purdue University), on ‘Making the Invisible Visible: The Unexpected Entanglements of Psychiatry, Midwifery, and Psychedelics’. All are welcome, but please reserve a place by emailing caroline.marley@strath.ac.uk as soon as possible.

Abstract

On November 13, 1956, recently certified Czech psychiatrist Stan Grof swallowed 150 micrograms of LSD as one of the earliest Czech volunteers for a research study. Within a few hours, his entire conception about the human psyche and the role of psychoanalysis was turned upside down. He described being hit by a radiance comparable to a “nuclear explosion” which catapulted him out of his body, expanding his consciousness to “cosmic dimensions.”

The timing was fortuitous, for Grof was in the midst of an existential crisis. Like many psychiatrists in Europe and the U.S. in the 1950s, he was inspired by Freudian analysis. Psychoanalysis was brilliant in theory, he believed, but abysmal in practice. It lacked visible proof of efficacy, a reminder of the profession’s struggle for legitimacy. Over the next fifteen years, Grof set out to provide that proof. He established himself as the world’s foremost researcher of psychedelics, conducting over 2000 psychedelic sessions first at the Maryland Psychiatric Research Institute and then at the Esalen Institute in CA.

In this talk, I draw on the records of the Maryland Psychiatric Research Center LSD Training Program Study and the papers of Grof to explore the “unexpected entanglements” between psychiatry, midwifery, and psychedelics.

Grof observed “astounding parallels” between psychedelic experiences and the clinical stages of delivery, believing that the common denominator between the two was the trauma of birth. He proposed a “new cartography of the human psyche” grounded in this observation, calling it the Basic Perinatal Matrices (BPM.) Despite the fact that Psychologist Abraham Maslow declared Grof’s framework “the most important contribution to personality theory in several decades,” its influence has been largely ignored by medical historians.

Biography

Wendy Kline is professor and Dema G. Seelye Chair in the History of Medicine in the Department of History at Purdue University. She is the author of several articles and three books (one forthcoming) that focus on controversies surrounding women’s reproductive health. She received her Ph.D. in history from the University of California, Davis, in 1998.

Her first book, Building a Better Race: Gender, Sexuality, and Eugenics from the Turn of the Century to the Baby Boom (University of California Press, 2001), emphasizes the American eugenic movement’s interaction with popular notions of gender and morality during the first half of the twentieth century. Her second book, Bodies of Knowledge: Sexuality, Reproduction, and Women’s Health in the Second Wave (University of Chicago Press, 2010) reveals the ways in which women challenged, expanded, and reinvented constructions of the female body and particular reproductive health in the late twentieth century. Her current book project, under contract with Oxford University Press, is entitled Coming Home: Medicine, Midwives, and the Transformation of Birth in Late-Twentieth-Century America. Based on interviews and archival records of midwives, doctors, and health organizations, this book will be the first in-depth, historical analysis of the home birth movement in the U.S.

CFP: ‘Medical and Metaphorical Wounds from the Middle Ages to the First World War’, London

Workshop: ‘Medical and Metaphorical Wounds from the Middle Ages to the First World War’

Location: Science Museum, London

Date: 26-27th January 2018

Wounds and their meaning have differed over time: from stigmata to the psychological wounding of soldiers in the First World War, the conception and function of wounds as religious symbols, medical signs or metaphorical devices has depended on social and historical contexts. Over this two-day workshop we hope to further a discussion on the varied understandings of wounds and wounding across history by bringing museum professionals and academics from different periods and disciplines together.

This workshop will mark the closing of ‘Wounded: Conflict, Casualties and Care’ at the Science Museum, on wound care and surgical developments in the First World War. The format will be a series of panels, discussions and (guided) exclusive access to the Science Museums extensive medical collections not currently on display. There will be a guided tour of the Wounded exhibition as well as a guided tour of Blythe House, one of the Science Museum object stores where large parts of the Wellcome Medical History Collection permanent loan to the Science Museum is housed. The proceedings from this workshop are to be published in a Special Issue of the Science Museum Group Journal. Registration is free and lunch will be provided on both days. We will endeavor to cover travel costs for student and unwaged delegates. There will be a conference dinner at delegates own expense.

We welcome abstracts on topics related to wounds and wounding from any period from the Middle Ages to the First World War. Topics may include but are not limited to:

  • Developments in wound care (surgical innovation during war, academic, scholastic, or
    educational changes)
  • Conception of wounds and wounding in medical text and literature
  • Descriptions and representations of wounds in medical text and literature
  • Physical and mental wounds
  • Representations of wounds and wounding in images and literature
  • Wounds as metaphor or simile
  • Wounds in religious practice, theory and representation
  • Wounds to the body politic and social wounds
  • The use of wounds and wounding in political or ideological discourse

Deadline for submission of abstracts is 31st of October, 2017. Please submit a short abstract (max 300 words) and a short biography (max 150 words) to sara.stradal@sciencemuseum.ac.uk.

Any questions and queries, please do not hesitate to contact: sara.stradal@sciencemuseum.ac.uk.

CFP: ‘The Senses and Spaces of Death, Dying and Remembering: Historical and Contemporary Perspectives’, Leeds

Date: 27th – 28th March 2018

Bringing together artists, academics and professionals working in a range of services relating to end of life, this conference will consider how space plays a role in practices of remembrance in the past and present, and in different cultures across the world. Through talks, performances and opportunities for discussion, we’ll think about being in a particular place might help us remember those we have lost, what emotions spaces bring about, and how we engage with places to keep their memories alive.

The conference will take place in Leeds, UK, 27-28 March 2018.

To submit a proposal, please email an abstract of c.250 words and a short biographical statement of c.100 words to Jessica Hammett by 30th November 2017.

For further details about this conference, please go to the conference website.