Call for participants: Comparative histories of AIDS in Europe

We invite expressions of interest from scholars of any discipline, working on histories of HIV/AIDS in Europe, to participate in a one-day symposium in London on 19 July 2018.


Recently, research on HIV and AIDS in historical perspective has intensified, with new projects looking at the UK, Sweden, Ireland, Switzerland, Spain, and more. This exciting work is not only painting a large and vibrant picture of the histories of AIDS and HIV, incorporating groups and experiences previously under-documented, but it is also beginning to signal the vital importance of local and national contexts. Responses to, and experiences of AIDS and HIV were modulated by features that varied from place to place, within and between countries, and reflected the importance of the social, cultural, and political settings in which AIDS and HIV emerged.


This one-day symposium seeks to draw together these existing research projects, to encourage comparative perspectives and to consider resonances and dissonances between them. It will provide an opportunity for scholars at all career stages to discuss their work and to identify key avenues for further research. We anticipate that the symposium will lead to an edited collection, and significant future research collaborations.


We encourage a focus on comparative histories or national specificities, particularly those which capture previously unexamined experiences of those affected by HIV. Themes may include AIDS and HIV in relation to young people, women, and families, immigration, sex workers, and national politics, and the position of transnational networks and North American influences within Europe. These are suggestions only: we look forward to seeing what further themes may emerge. We will aim to include papers focusing on a variety of different European settings.


The symposium will be held in London on Thursday 19th July 2018, towards the end of a month-long public Festival of AIDS Cultures and Histories taking place in London and Amsterdam.


Please note that the symposium will follow a workshop format, with pre-circulated papers.


If you are interested in participating, please send up to 500 words, no later than 29 January 2018 to:

This should be a summary of the research you would like to share and discuss at the symposium, highlighting its geographical focus and key themes.


Deadline for proposals: Monday 29 January 2018

Decisions by: end of February 2018

Organisers: Professor Matt Cook (Birkbeck), Dr Hannah J Elizabeth and Dr Janet Weston (both London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine).


Symposium: Thursday 19 July 2018, Birkbeck, University of London.

Funding: We anticipate that funding for travel and accommodation will be available for students and those without institutional support. Students and early career scholars are also able to apply to the Society for the Social History of Medicine for travel bursaries.


British Society for the History of Science Postgraduate Conference 2018

The organising committee of the British Society for the History of Science Postgraduate Conference 2018 are grateful to the Society for the Social History of Medicine for the awarding of funds towards our conference, taking place at the University of Manchester 4th – 6th April 2018. 

The event is an important opportunity for postgraduates – including a good number of budding historians of medicine – to share research and network with a diverse group of national and international colleagues. Additional funding means that we can make accessibility and inclusivity a priority by keeping registration costs low and catering for all attendees’ needs. Delegates will enjoy a drinks reception, Bright Club comedy evening, and guided visit to one of Manchester’s many museums and archives alongside a varied and diverse programme of presentations. 

Registration via the University of Manchester estore will open on 11th January and close on 28th February.We have been able to secure limited subsidised city-centre hotel accommodation for the evenings of the 4th and 5th April, which will be made available to delegates registering before 11th February on a first-come first-served basis. Further information can be found at; please direct any enquiries to

CFP. Between the Local and the Global: Connection, Sharing, and Entanglement in the History of Technoscience

The 7th STS Italia Conference will be hosted at the University of Padova, Italy, June 14 through 16, 2018, by the Italian Society of Science and Technology Studies. The topic of the 2018 is Technoscience from Below broadly construed. The conference will be an opportunity to present empirical and theoretical work from a variety of disciplines and fields: history, sociology, anthropology, design, economics, philosophy, law, psychology and semiotics.


Between the Local and the Global: Connection, Sharing, and Entanglement in the History of Technoscience (Track 25)

This track solicits contributions focused on the historical critique of diffusionist models of technoscience which represent innovations as originating in a single centre and diffusing in a one-way relationship to centres outside of the centre. Postcolonial critiques of diffusionist “centre-periphery” models inherited from the Cold War era have been highly effective in their exposure of the deeply embedded Eurocentrism of prevailing historical narratives in which social, cultural, and political formations are depicted as one-way relationships of “sending” colonisers and “receiving” colonial subjects. Additionally, these critiques have generated other lines of critique which feature what have variously been called “connected,” “shared,” and “entangled” approaches to history that stress networked relations and processes of mutual influencing in establishing innovation relationships. These lines of inquiry permit a foretaste of what can be achieved by untangling and reconnecting local histories of technoscience in ways that throw highlight, on the one hand, on unique schemes of local development according to the distinctive needs of local populations and, on the other, how local infrastructures are reworked and redeployed from below to accommodate global processes of technoscientific innovation. The convenors seek to open up and develop these lines of inquiry with a track that explores the role of bottom-up innovation processes and departs from the deeply rooted territorial approaches of the past.

Contributions could include (but are not limited to) studies of “connected,” “shared,” and “entangled” relations of technoscience which:

– have occurred between colonial powers and (now) independent former colonies

– have occurred under (pre- or post-1989) first-second-third world interactions

– have occurred in the course of development (i.e., developing/developed nations)

– have occurred as a result of collaborations in international and/or supranational technoscientific projects (e.g., Human Genome Projects, LIGO Scientific Collaboration, CERN and SESAME, Millennium Seed Bank Partnership).

Submissions: To submit a paper for this track, we require an abstract of roughly 300 words submitted as .docx, .doc, or .pdf.


Please send submission directly to the co-convenors:  William Leeming, OCAD University, and Ana Barahona, National Autonomous University of Mexico,




Conference Website

BSHM Congress Keynote Lecture: How distinctive was Scottish medical practice? 

How distinctive was Scottish medical practice? 
by Professor Malcolm Nicolson.  
Centre for the History of Medicine, University of Glasgow. 

Prof Nicolson was indisposed when he was  due to give his keynote lecture 
in Edinburgh on Sept 16th 2017. 

However, he kindly agreed to record the lecture and we now have pleasure in 
making the video recording available for all. 


CFP. Being Well Together: human-animal collaboration, companionship and the promotion of health and wellbeing

Call for Papers – Workshop. 19th-21st September 2018.
Centre for the History of Science, Technology and Medicine (CHSTM)
University of Manchester (UK).

Being Well Together will critically examine the myriad ways humans have formed partnerships with nonhuman species to improve health across time and place. The late twentieth century witnessed the simultaneous rise and diversification of varied entanglements of humans and animals in the pursuit of health and wellbeing. Clinical examples include the use of maggots to treat chronic wounds and the post-surgical use of leeches to aid healing. In wider society we might consider service animals, such as guide dogs, diabetes alert dogs, and emotional support animals. In the home pets are increasingly recognized to contribute to emotional wellbeing, with companion animals particularly important to those who are otherwise at risk of social isolation. Expanded to include concepts such as the ‘human’ microbiome in the opening decades of the twenty-first century, these entanglements may be recognized as ‘multispecies medicine’. In each case, human health and wellbeing rests on the cultivation of relationships with other species. Being well is a process of being well together.

We invite proposals to explore multispecies communication, collaboration and companionship in contexts of medicine, health and wellbeing. Areas of interest include, but are not limited to, the lived experience of health as a product of multispecies relations, the role of affect and emotion in the maintenance of human and nonhuman wellbeing, and the societal politics of ‘being well’ when ‘being well’ is a more than human condition. The lived experience of being well with animals can reshape understandings of health, wellbeing and disability; its study may provide new approaches to productively frame the relationship between the politics of animal and disability advocacy.

Participants will be drawn from a range of disciplines with interests spanning, though not restricted to, medical and environmental humanities. We aim to strike a balance between studies adopting historical perspectives and those which critically examine areas of contemporary practice. In bringing historical accounts into dialogue with present practices, Being Well Together will generate new perspectives on medicine, health and changing relations of human and animal life in society.

Practical Details
Titles and abstracts (400 words maximum) as well as general queries should be addressed to Rob Kirk ( and Neil Pemberton ( by Thursday 30th November 2017.

Invited participants will provide a written draft paper for pre-circulation (6-8000 words maximum inclusive of references) by 31st July 2018. These ‘work-in-progress’ papers will be the starting point for discussions at the September workshop with a view to producing an edited volume.

Accommodation and travel costs for invited participants will be covered by the organisers.

Being Well Together is the first in a series of activities supported by the Wellcome Trust (UK) Investigator Award, ‘Multispecies Medicine: Biotherapy and the Ecological Vision of Health and Wellbeing’. Based at the Centre for the History of Science, Technology and Medicine, University of Manchester, this collaborative research project examines how, why and to what consequence, human and nonhuman life has become variously entangled within health, wellbeing and society.


Knowledge in Context: Colloquium in Honour of Laurence Brockliss and Colin Jones

In 1997, Laurence Brockliss (Magdalen College, Oxford) and Colin Jones (QMUL) published The Medical World of Early Modern France, a landmark in the history of medicine because of its integration of social and institutional history with intellectual history.  It established a vibrant new approach to the history of medicine and knowledge of the early modern period while also encouraging Anglo-French intellectual exchange.

This colloquium has been organized by colleagues and former colleagues to mark the twentieth anniversary of this work’s publication and the year of Laurence Brockliss’s retirement.  Examining the ways in which knowledge is contextualized in early modern Europe and Britain, speakers from a range of historical disciplines (classical scholarship, antiquarianism, philosophy, natural sciences) and from a variety of national perspectives will demonstrate the range of Brockliss and Jones’s impact in integrating intellectual history with other sub disciplines of history.

Speakers include: Gregory Brown (UNLV), Simon Burrows (Western Sydney University), Jean-Luc Chappey (Université Paris 1 Panthéon Sorbonne), Karl Theodore Hoppen (Hull), Cathy McClive (Florida State University), Christelle Rabier (EHESS), and John Robertson (Cambridge)

Registration now open: Standard £40.00; Reduced £20.00

Knowledge in Context Colloquium – Book here

Organizers: Floris Verhaart, Queen’s University Belfast; François Zanetti, Paris Ouest Nanterre; Erica Charters, University of Oxford

We are grateful for funding from The Society for the Social History of Medicine; the History Faculty, University of Oxford; Florida State University; Queen’s University Belfast; and Magdalen College, Oxford.

Travel bursaries may be available for student and early-career attendees: see

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CFP (special issue). Palgrave Communications:- Socioeconomic factors and mental health: past and present

Palgrave Communications, the humanities and social sciences journal published by Palgrave Macmillan, is currently inviting article proposals and full papers for the following special issue:

Socioeconomic factors and mental health: past and present

Editors: Professor Matthew Smith and Dr Lucas Richert (University of Strathclyde, UK)


This article collection will examine how the relationship between socioeconomic factors and mental health has been and is understood in an array of different places and periods. Although much of the focus of current mental health research and clinical practice is on the neurological aspects of mental illness and psychopharmacological treatment, historical research demonstrates that a wide range of factors — from vitamin deficiencies such as pellagra, and infections such as syphilis to traumatic life events — have contributed to the onset and exacerbation of mental health problems. Among all these factors, one looms largest: socioeconomic status. On the one hand, socioeconomic inequality has been long recognised as a potential cause of mental illness, as the history of mental hygiene and social psychiatry during much of the twentieth century demonstrates. On the other hand, however, the mentally ill have also historically faced much socioeconomic hardship; today, a high proportion of the homeless and incarcerated in many countries suffer from mental illness.


By exploring this topic across time and place, this collection aims to provide a historical context for today’s mental health crisis, and also to inform current mental health policy, especially attempts to prevent or alleviate mental illness through social change.


This is a rolling article collection and as such proposals and submissions will be welcome throughout 2017. However, full submissions received by November 1 will be considered for publication as part of the collection’s formal launch in 2018.


Proposals should be submitted to the editorial office at:


More info:


Read more about the journal’s open access policy here:


CFP: Joint Atlantic Seminar for the History of Medicine

October 13-14, 2017

Johns Hopkins University

The Johns Hopkins University Institute for the History of Medicine is pleased to host the 15th Joint Atlantic Seminar for the History of Medicine, October 13-14, 2017 in Baltimore.

JASMed is convened annually for the presentation of research by young scholars working on the history of medicine and public health. The meeting was founded in 2002 to foster a collegial intellectual community that provides a forum for sharing and critiquing graduate research.

We welcome student presentations on any topic and time period and especially hope to receive submissions that speak to this year’s theme, “Truth, Power, and Objectivity in the History of Medicine.” As Bruno Latour cautioned in his 2004 essay “Why has critique run out of steam? From matters of fact to matters of concern,” by demonstrating the lack of scientific certainty and socially constructed nature of facts in their work, historians of science, medicine, and technology are at risk of potentiating the arguments of political extremists, such as climate change skeptics or HIV denialists. This theme directs our attention to the ways in which historians of medicine both establish truths and call them into question. Broadly conceived, the theme highlights questions of perspective and power, including the intersections of race, gender, class, sexuality, and disability. It also invites us to critically consider methodological issues in the field, such as which actors get voices in our narratives, how sources can be used to emphasize or obscure different viewpoints, how evidence and authority are mobilized and balanced, and how claims of objectivity in the medical and scientific discourses influence both our scholarship and the ways it is interpreted.

We encourage submissions from a wide range of scholarly disciplines and are eager to hear new voices in the history of medicine and allied fields. Abstracts should be no more than 300 words and clearly convey the argument, sources, and relationship to existing literature of the paper to be presented. Please submit an abstract no later than June 15, 2017 to

Registration for the conference is free and will open in September 2017. If you have any questions, please be in touch via email at

CFP: What is a Recipe? A Virtual Conversation


The Recipes Project is a Digital Humanities and History of Science, Technology, and Medicine blog devoted to the study of recipes from all time periods and places. Our readership and contributors highlight the growing scholarly and popular interest in recipes. Over the five years that the RP has been running, our authors have continued to revisit one key question: what exactly is a recipe?  How do we know one when we see one?  What is their structure? What functions do recipes serve? How are they shared and passed on? Are they a set of instructions, a way of life, or a story? Aspirational or frequently used? Prose, poem, or image? The list could go on!


And the question becomes even more complicated when we consider  the ways that social media creates new and innovative formats for conversations about recipes, across disciplines, academic/non-academic boundaries, and the world. At the RP, we’ve found that blogging is a wonderful way for recipes scholars to share their work and interests, but we recognize its limits as static text.


Introducing… the Virtual Conversation

We would like to invite you – whatever your background – to join us in our first Recipes Project Virtual Conversation, which will take place across a series of online events over the course of one month (2 June to 5 July).


The month-long event will be framed by two more traditional panels of speakers. The first, “Repast and Present: Food History Inside and Outside the Academy,” will be convened at the Berkshire Conference of Women Historians in June. The second will be held in the UK in July, and will feature all of the RP’s editors.  We’ll record these two panels and post them online for discussion.


In between these panels, we’ll host a series of virtual events during which we flood social media with images, texts, and conversations about ‘What is a Recipe?’


Are you a visual person who loves Pinterest or Instagram? Or do you prefer the brevity and playfulness of Twitter? Do you use recipes in historical re-enactment, or try to reconstruct historical recipes in the lab? Are you a knitter who uses old patterns? Whether you’re a recipes scholar, or a recipes enthusiast, there is a place for you in our conference.


During the Virtual Conversation, we will be collecting and archiving presentations for a post-event exhibition site.


Types of Presentations

We are open to any form of online presentation on the topic of ‘What is a Recipe?’ You might use Twitter for poems, stories, or essays… Or Instagram, Pinterest, and Snapchat for photo-essays… Or YouTube, Vimeo, or Facebook Live for videos… Or a blog forum… Or you might have another brilliant idea, which we’d love to hear!


Participation is open to ALL, whether you decide to present or to simply join the discussion.


How to Participate

Please register your interest in participating by contacting Recipes Project editors Lisa Smith and Laurence Totelin by 30 April 2017.


In your email, please indicate your activity, medium, and (if any) preferred dates between 2 June and 5 July. In the interests of open participation, we are not vetting abstracts.


But in your application, please be detailed, because this will help us as we organise online activities, find participants, and ensure that we have permission to reproduce work on our exhibition site. Some virtual technical support may also be possible, depending on your needs.


We have reserved two hashtags for the conference: #recipesconf and #recipesproject. Please use these for all presentations and discussions, so participants can be sure to find each other.


We can’t wait to see what you come up with!


For more information, please see the CFP at our own website, follow us on Twitter, or see us on Facebook.

Conference. ‘Why is my pain perpetual?’ (Jer 15:18): Chronic Pain in the Middle Ages

Pain is a universal human experience. We have all hurt at some point, felt that inescapable sensory challenge to our physical equanimity, our health and well-being compromised. Typically, our agonies are fleeting. For some, however, suffering becomes an artefact of everyday living: our pain becomes ‘chronic’. Chronic pain is persistent, usually lasting for three months or more, does not respond well to analgesia, and does not improve after the usual healing period of any injury.


Following Elaine Scarry’s (1985) seminal work The Body in Pain, researchers from various humanities disciplines have productively studied pain as a physical phenomenon with wide-ranging emotional and socio-cultural effects. Medievalists have also analysed acute pain, elucidating a specifically medieval construction of physical distress. In almost all such scholarship – modern and medieval – chronic pain has been overlooked.


The new field of medieval disability studies has also neglected chronic pain as a primary object of study. Instead, disability scholars in the main focus on ‘visible’ and ‘mainstream’ disabilities, such as blindness, paralysis, and birth defects. Indeed, disability historian Beth Linker argued in 2013 that ‘[m]ore historical attention should be paid to the unhealthy disabled’, including those in chronic pain (‘On the Borderland’, 526). This conference seeks specifically to pay ‘historical attention’ to chronic pain in the medieval era. It will bring together researchers from across disciplines working on chronic pain, functioning as a collaborative space for medievalists to enter into much-needed conversations on this highly overlooked area of scholarship.


Relevant topics for this conference include:

  • Medieval conceptions and theories of chronic pain, as witnessed by scientific, medical, and theological works
  • Paradigms of chronic pain developed in modern scholarship – and what medievalists can learn from, and contribute to, them
  • Comparative analyses of chronic pain in religious versus secular narratives
  • Recognition or rejection of chronic pain as an affirmative subjective identity
  • Chronic pain and/as disability
  • The potential share-ability of pain in medieval narratives, such as texts which show an individual taking on the pain of another
  • The relationship between affect and the severity, understanding, and experience of pain
  • The manner in which gender impacts the experience, expression, and management of an individual’s chronic pain


Confirmed speakers:

  • Dr Katherine Harvey (Birkbeck, University of London, UK), ‘Chronic Pain and the Saintly Bishop in Medieval England’
  • Dr James McKinstry (Durham University, UK), ‘Headaches, Diseases, and Old Age: William Dunbar’s Diagnosis of Chronic Pain’
  • Dr Michele Moatt (National Trust and Lancaster University, UK), ‘Chronic Pain and Prophecy in the Twelfth-century Life of Aelred of Rievaulx
  • Catherine Coffey (Queen’s University, Belfast, Northern Ireland), ‘“Mit zwoelf tugenden stritet si wider das vleisch”: The Body Fighting the Flesh in Mechthild von Magdeburg’s Das fließende Licht der Gottheit
  • Katherine Briant (Fordham University, New York, USA), ‘Pain as a Theological Framework in Julian of Norwich’s Vision and Revelation
  • Dr Nicole Nyffenegger (Bern University, Switzerland), ‘Mary’s Perpetual Physical Pain: Affective Piety and “Doubling”’
  • Prof Wendy J Turner (Augusta University, Georgia, USA), ‘Mental Complications of Pain: Age and Violence in Medieval England’
  • Dr Bianca Frohne (University of Bremen, Germany), ‘Living With Pain: Constructions of a Corporeal Experience in Early and High Medieval Miracle Accounts’
  • Dr William Maclehose (University College London, UK), ‘A Locus for Healing: Saints’ Shrines and Representations of Chronic Pain’
  • Prof Esther Cohen (Hebrew University of Jerusalem), one of the foremost scholars on pain in the Middle Ages, will deliver the keynote address.


If you have any queries, including access requirements, please do not hesitate to contact the organiser, Alicia Spencer-Hall.


Picture1Picture2This conference is generously supported by the Society for the Social History of Medicine and the Institute of Advanced Studies at University College London.


NB. The conference registration fee is £20. The fee is waived completely for concessions (students, the unwaged, retired scholars). Registration for the conference will open shortly, and be conducted via the UCL Online Shop, in the ‘Conferences and Events’


Members of the Society for the Social History of Medicine may apply for bursaries to facilitate attendance at this conference. Please see here for full details.