Please click on the image thumbnails below for details of a forthcoming event:
Celebrating 500 years of Pregnancy and Birth:
This is being organised by Professor Valerie Worth (Trinity College, Oxford) in collaboration with the RCOG and De Partu. Attendees may also be interested in attending a De Partu meeting on September 3rd 2015, where there will be an opportunity for members to present papers on work in progress; further details to follow shortly.
In this centenary year of the Midwives (Scotland) Act 1915, this exhibition takes a look at the fascinating history of midwifery. Works by William Hunter and the man-midwife William Smellie will be on display.
Crush Hall and the Library Reading Room of the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Glasgow are open to visitors on Monday afternoons from 2.00 p.m. until 5.00 p.m.
Visit the library blog for more information about the exhibitions.
The death has been announced today of Sheila Kitzinger, at the age of 86.
Sheila Kitzinger made a significant contribution to the understanding of birth in its social context from a feminist perspective, and was a catalyst for improvements in maternity services from the 1960s onwards.
She was a prolific author, and became a legend in her own lifetime. Despite her widening fame she was generous with her time, always willing to provide support and help to women and midwives.
Around 1900, few pregnant women in Western Europe or North America had any contact with a medical practitioner before going into labour. By the end the twentieth century, the hospitalisation of childbirth, the legalisation of abortion and a host of biomedical technologies from the Pill and IVF to obstetric ultrasound and prenatal diagnosis had dramatically extended the reach of science and medicine into human reproduction. A special issue of Studies in History and Philosophy of Biological and Biomedical Sciences published this month reflects on the social, medical and technological shifts that have shaped the experience and management of pregnancy since the turn of the twentieth century. Originating in a workshop held in Cambridge in 2012 supported by the Wellcome Trust-funded ‘Generation to Reproduction’ project, the special issue is edited by Dr Salim Al-Gailani (University of Cambridge) and Dr Angela Davis (University of Warwick).
The “mother of family planning in the UK” Dr Helena Wright talks to Sue MacGregor in 1980 about the early days of the Family Planning Association which formed in 1930.
NB this podcast is available for 27 days only – from 17/09/14
A scanned PDF copy of the Midwives Act 1936 can now be downloaded from the Resources page
18th-19th September 2014, University of Leeds
This two-day conference, organised by the School of History’s Health, Medicine and Society research group, brings together those interested in the history of birth, fertility, sexuality, demography and family life, from the medieval period to the present day, and in cultures across the world. The conference aims to situate birth in the contexts of family and society, evaluate the attitudes of individuals, groups and governments to birth, explore the impact of birth, and assess changes and continuities in the experience of birth.
The conference programme includes a public lecture by Professor Simon Szreter, a keynote lecture by Professor Kate Fisher, a roundtable on the politics of procreation, and a handling session with objects from Thackray Medical Museum.
The cost to attend the conference is £25 (full)/£15 (students, unwaged, 1 day attendance).
At 5pm on Thursday 18th September, we will be hosting a free public lecture by Professor Simon Szreter (University of Cambridge), in association with the History and Policy Parenting Forum. The lecture is entitled ‘Births and the collective provision of welfare – the long view c.1550-2014’, and is followed by a reception. All are welcome, and no registration is necessary.
Laura King and Alex Bamji
Health, Medicine and Society research group
School of History
University of Leeds
Michael Sadler Building
The next De Partu History of Childbirth event, to include a members’ meeting and the presentation of papers, will be held at the historic Chetham’s School of Music in Manchester on 14th October 2014.
More details of the programme, which includes lunch, a short guided tour of the school and a musical interlude, will follow soon.
This new book may be of interest:
Pregnancy and birth in early modern France: treatises by caring physicians and surgeons (1581-1625). François Rousset, Jean Liebault, Jacques Guillemeau, Jacques Duval, and Louis de Serres. Edited and translated by Valerie Worth-Stylianou (Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 2013), ISBN Softcover 978-0-7727-2138-9; Electronic 978-0-7727-2139-6. (The electronic edition is available to institutions only.)
The flyer (hyperlinked) will allow you to purchase the book from the University of Toronto Press on its website with an early bird 20% discount should any of you be interested in ordering it for your university libraries.
School of Nursing, Midwifery and Social Work
University of Manchester
The De Partu site is currently undergoing maintenance. You will notice the new background image (from Muscio, courtesy of the Wellcome Library) and new member login with the logo above. I am pleased to report that I have now identified a solution to the member login issue. The new login box (to be found at the top right-hand corner of each page) will work with the existing member logins, and includes a password reminder facility. Access to the links, archive of blog posts and tag cloud is now restricted to members. Please keep a look out in the coming weeks for additional content, including new images and the full text of the 1936 Midwives Act to accompany those of 1902 and 1918.
Catherine Ebenezer, web editor
Full copies of the Midwives Acts of 1902 and 1918 have now been uploaded to the Resources page.