Registration now open. From Trauma to Protection: the twentieth century as the children’s century

Venue: University of Warwick

Dates: 19-20 April 2018

Keynote speaker: Dr Manon Pignot (Université de Picardie-Jules Verne)


From the end of the nineteenth century, the discourses articulated around children’s rights to physical protection, health and well-being underwent profound changes. From the multiplication of laws to protect children in the public and private spheres, to the rise of non-governmental organisations and associations, efforts were made to bring young people relief from trauma, insecurity and maltreatment. Yet, simultaneously, that same period has gone hand-in-hand with increasing opportunities for children to experience such tragedies; and in both domestic settings (abuse or neglect) as well as wider geopolitical manifestations of violence (war and genocide) such anxieties have influenced the form and nature of the above responses.

‘From Trauma to Protection’ is a two-day interdisciplinary conference which seeks to interrogate these two mutually-dependent themes in modern history. Paying attention to scholarship on the history of the family, on state and NGO aid provision, and on the perspectives of children themselves, its focus on constructions and understandings of trauma as a medicalised category should be of interest to SSHM scholars working on child and family health initiatives, humanitarian healthcare, and health and well-being campaigns which are directed at, or seek to mobilise, children and young people.

A conference programme is currently available here, and details about registration and conference costs are available here.

Discounted conference rates are available for students and Early Career Fellows with no (or very restricted) funding for research costs. As the conference is in receipt of funding from the SSHM, research students and ECFs who are members of the Society may be eligible for a conference attendance bursary and should direct all relevant queries to the Society’s bursary officer, Dr Anna Greenwood.

Please do not hesitate to get in touch with the organisers via if you have any queries


PGR/ECR Symposium

28th June 2018

Newcastle University


Keynote Speaker: Dr Caroline Sumpter, QUB


The Contagious Diseases Acts of the 1860s were a turning point in nineteenth-century state sanctions regarding morality. From this decade, public debates about the boundaries of morality in the United Kingdom, and the role of state intervention, underwent profound changes through the later nineteenth century, and the nation’s involvement in conflicts of the twentieth century. This symposium considers the boundaries of morality – in relation to sex, death, disease and conflict – and the role of state sanction or intervention from the Contagious Diseases Acts of the 1860s through to the abolition of capital punishment in the 1960s.

This one-day interdisciplinary symposium invites papers that interrogate boundaries of moral values in themes and contexts of sex, death, disease, and conflict; the fluidity of moral boundaries in different contexts and spaces, including physical and textual; and evolving gendered definitions of moral boundaries. These subjects include considerations of social and cultural constructions of morality, portrayals of moral boundaries in fiction and other media, and legislative developments in moral attitudes. We welcome papers from those working in the fields of Literature, History, Politics, Law, Film, Media, Geography, Sociology, and Gender Studies.

There is no attendance fee, and lunch will be provided. The event is particularly aimed at postgraduate and early career researchers.

Please send abstracts of 250 words for 20-minute papers to by Friday 30th March 2018.

This event is supported by funding from Newcastle University Gender Research Group.

CFP. A Civilizing Moment? Reflecting on 150 years since the abolition of public execution

6th June 2018

Literary & Philosophical Society, Newcastle.



Dr. James Gregory (University of Plymouth)

Dr. Lizzie Seal (University of Sussex)


On the 29th May 1868, the Capital Punishment Amendment Act received Royal Assent, bringing an end to centuries of execution in public. Of the Act itself V.A.C. Gatrell posited that, “we cannot deny that 1868 was a civilizing moment in British History”. He went on to state that “none of this, however, means that 1868 marks a humane moment in British history.” Indeed, execution continued unabated for another century and restricted from view to all but a few select representatives of authority. 150 years on from the Act’s introduction, this one-day conference will reflect on this landmark legislation’s origins, intentions, reception and reality.

The organisers are keen to encourage interdisciplinary insights as well as welcoming scholars from any stage in their career and are interested in attracting a wide range of papers both prior to and in the aftermath of the Act itself. Subjects for papers may include, but are by no means limited to

• The legislative build up to the 1868 Act

• The effect of the 1868 Act and its aftermath

• The broader changing nature of punishment

• Media representations of executions

• Individual cases and crimes

• The role of the execution crowd

• The wider impact and awareness of public executions

• Capital Punishment in the arts – including visual, design, performance, media, music and literary genres.

• The science of punishment

• Global perspectives on capital punishment.

For individual paper submissions please submit an abstract of no more than 250 words, accompanied by a brief biography. For panel and roundtable proposals, an abstract of 500 words including a synopsis of the panel and short biographies for each speaker. Send all submissions to deadline for panel and individual paper proposals will be 28th February 2018. The organisers intend to publish an edited collection based upon this conference to which attendees will be encouraged to submit their papers. For more information visit the conference website at

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: