Hosted by Oxford Brookes University and the Croatian Institute of History, Zagreb
Segregation and integration have shaped hospitals throughout their histories from a variety of perspectives: political, economic, social, religious, cultural, architectural and environmental. This conference will foreground the concepts of segregation and integration in health care institutions from Ancient times to the modern day and in an international context.
Ideas about segregation and integration in relation to hospitals could influence decisions regarding location, design, specialisation, the patient body, representations and publicity, funding and civic purpose. In so doing, they affected the internal and external function of the hospital. Within the hospital site itself patients might be segregated on the basis of their behaviour, gender, race or even class as well as their physical condition. The integration of medical teams changed, often as new technologies and specialisms were adopted. Once healed, patients could require assistance in order to reintegrate with their former communities and resume their ordinary lives. The conference will also consider the factors which affected the degree of integration and segregation which was deemed to be desirable between urban and rural sites, as well as hospitals across communities, countries and continents.
Although segregation and integration have been a prominent feature of many studies of individual institutions, this conference will be the first to examine them from a comparative perspective. In so doing, the conference will not only tell us more about hospital history but will illustrate yet again how the study of hospitals can shed light upon the history of their wider contexts.
Supported by the Society for the Social History of Medicine.