History and Philosophy of Science Winter [Northern Summer] School: History of Psychiatry, Past Trends, Future Directions

13-17 August 2018, University of Sydney


We invite applications from graduate students and early-career researchers in the history and social studies of science and biomedicine, and related fields, for a five-day (southern-hemisphere) winter school focusing on scholarship in the history of psychiatry. This is an excellent opportunity for young scholars interested in some of the more exciting recent developments in the history, sociology, and anthropology of medicine, in particular those scholars seeking to integrate various approaches in the interdisciplinary analysis of psychiatry and its history.


The history of psychiatry has attracted sustained attention by historians of medicine over the past several decades. The attention to psychiatry was partly caused by broader public debates about the role of psychiatry in modern societies. During the 1970s, for example, critics such as Thomas Szasz condemned psychiatry as a pseudo-branch of medicine and as a tool of modern societies to force individuals to conform to arbitrary social standards or to forcibly confine them to mental hospitals which Erving Gofman characterised as total institutions akin to prisons and concentration camps. The historical/philosophical work of Michel Foucault contributed to these characterisations as well. These views greatly contributed to historical research on the history of psychiatry.


How relevant are the approaches to the history of psychiatry inspired by these critical views today? After deinstitutionalisation, there are hardly any mental hospitals left, the influence of psychoanalysis has greatly declined, and psychiatrists appear to focus more on psychopharmacology than on psychotherapy. During this winter school, we will evaluate past and current research on the history of psychiatry, discuss promising new trends, and focus on topics that we expect will be relevant in the near future. Topics that will be discussed include: Modern Research on Insane Asylums and Mental Hospitals; Colonial and Post-Colonial Psychiatry; Diagnosing Populations: Psychiatric Epidemiology; Deinstitutionalisation and community psychiatry; Trauma: Experience, Explanations, and Treatments.


We are looking forward to discussing these issues and many others, according to the interests of participants. Through a mix of seminars, small group discussions, and case studies, graduate students and early-career researchers will become acquainted with the most interesting research in the history of psychiatry. The workshop faculty will illustrate their arguments with examples of their own recent and forthcoming research. We expect participants to shape these discussions and to contribute ideas and examples from their own studies. Additionally, there will be plenty of opportunities to enjoy Sydney’s harbor, beaches, food, and cultural activities.


The winter course will be taught by Mark Micale (University of Illinois), Hans Pols (University of Sydney), and several other local academics with interest in this area.


We have planned this winter school before the conference of the Society for the Social Study of Science, which will take place from 29 August to 1 September. There will be many interesting smaller events in the week preceding that conference.


Applicants should send a CV and a brief description (maximum one page) of their research interests, and how they relate to the topic of the Winter School, to hps.admin@sydney.edu.au (with a subject heading “Winter School Application”). Closing date is May 31, 2018. We will take care of accommodation expenses and meals for the period of the Winter School, but participants (or their institutions) will have to cover their own transport costs.


The Winter School is supported by the Sydney Centre for the Foundations of Science and the School of History and Philosophy of Science, and the International Research Collaboration Fund of the University of Sydney.

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 childrenconferencewarwick@gmail.com 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 morality.symposium.ncl@gmail.com 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 1868conference@gmail.com.The 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 www.1868conference.wordpress.com

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:   HistoriesOfAids@gmail.com

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).

Contact: HistoriesOfAids@gmail.com

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 https://chstmphdblog.wordpress.com/events/bshspg2018; please direct any enquiries to bshspg2018@gmail.com.

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, bleeming@faculty.ocadu.ca and Ana Barahona, National Autonomous University of Mexico, ana.barahona@ciencias.unam.mx




Conference Websitehttps://www.frombelow-stsitaliaconf.org/

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. 

see http://bshm.org.uk/keynote-lecture/

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 (robert.g.kirk@manchester.ac.uk) and Neil Pemberton (neil.pemberton@manchester.ac.uk) 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.

See: http://www.chstm.manchester.ac.uk/newsandevents/conferences/beingwelltogether