A funded PhD studentship: ‘Public Understandings of Fertility, Pregnancy or Post-Natal Health: A Cultural History’

The topic is Public Understandings of Fertility, Pregnancy or Post-Natal Health: A Cultural History; the supervision is split between Birkbeck’s School of Arts and London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine. Students are asked to define their project, specifying a period of history, and a specific health topic within maternity health, broadly conceived.

Details here

 

Scottish Society of the History of Medicine Symposium (12–13 March 2021)

The Scottish Society of the History of Medicine will be holding a special symposium on “Teaching anatomy from Classical to modern times” – Friday 12th and Saturday 13th March 2021.

Download the brochure and registration form.

Introduction

This two day symposium is being organised by the Scottish Society of the History of Medicine, in association with the British Society for the History of Medicine and the History Society of the Royal Society of Medicine. The aim is to explore the development of anatomy teaching from the earliest times to the present day.

Presentations will cover the ways in which anatomical knowledge has been acquired, portrayed and taught. We will examine the evolution of techniques used in the teaching of anatomy through the ages and its relevance not only to surgery and medicine, but also to art and society in general.

The programme includes keynote lectures, invited speakers and short papers. We welcome short papers from a range of perspectives including historical, social, cultural and modern innovations.

Symposium Topics

  • The rise and fall of comparative anatomy
  • Cadaveric model
  • Wax and paper models
  • Anatomy textbooks
  • The rise and fall of the private anatomy schools
  • The role of anatomy museums
  • Modern technologies
  • Anatomy in art
  • Leonardo’s anatomy
  • Anatomy potpourri: Humour/mnemonics/cartoons etc.

Venue

Royal College of Surgeons of Edinburgh Nicolson Street
Edinburgh
EH8 9DW

Interesting paper ‘Reviewing the Womb’

In the current issue of the Journal of Medical Ethics, Dunja Begovi, Elizabeth Chloe Romanis and Alexandra Mullock suggest in an open access article ‘Reviewing the womb‘ that women’s reproductive freedom is under threat in many ways as the uterus becomes more accessible and amenable to medical management. It discusses some of the associated ethical and legal dangers which have emerged from developments in reproductive technology, and reflects on the historical notions of woman as the (sometimes incompetent) vessel for the nurturing of the male seed, where the focus lies on the fruit of the womb, on the fetus rather than the mother.

Mary Toft in eighteenth-century England…

Whether or not you have read The Imposteress Rabbit Breeder, reviewed for De Partu by Dr Ashleigh Blackwood, you may enjoy listening to an interview with the author, Professor Karen Harvey, who asks why on earth would a woman wish to pretend to give birth to rabbits…how could it be true …and why would contemporary medical men appear to believe this and investigate it?
The interview is from an ‘History Extra’ podcast for BBC History Magazine.

New book reviews

Reviews of the following titles are now available on the Book Reviews page:

Lara Freidenfels (2020)
The myth of the perfect pregnancy: A history of miscarriage in America

Anja Katharina Peters (2020)
Nanna Conti (1881-1951): Eine Biographie der Reichshebammenführerin
[English abstract]

Karen Harvey (2020)
The Imposteress Rabbit Breeder: Mary Toft and Eighteenth-Century England

Karen Hearn (2020)
Portraying Pregnancy: from Holbein to Social Media

Books available for review

The following new publications will soon be available for review:

The Myth of the Perfect Pregnancy: A History of Miscarriage in America by Lara Freidenfelds (Oxford University Press, 2020)
Midwifery from the Tudors to the Twenty-First Century: History, Politics and Safe Practice in England, by Julia Allison (Routledge, 2020)
NB the latter is in PDF format only; publishers are no longer posting out review copies owing to the coronavirus pandemic.

Please contact the Book Review Editor, Dr Alison Nuttall (alison_m_nuttall@hotmail.com) if you are interested in reviewing either of these titles.

History of childbirth event at the Foundling Museum – POSTPONED

We are very sorry indeed, but in view of the very sensible concerns of a number of delegates and the rapidly evolving public health warnings about the coronavirus, we have this morning taken the decision to postpone our study day at the Foundling Museum in London scheduled for Saturday March 14th.  We’re aware that our delegates include quite a number of people who have care responsibilities for the more vulnerable, and we wish to avoid exposing them to any additional risk at this time. We hope you will understand this decision – which we’ve taken with much regret – in these exceptional circumstances. We are currently firming up with the Foundling Museum an alternative Saturday date – on this same theme and in a similar format (with their summer exhibition to visit) – a little later in 2020, hoping the coronavirus outbreak will then be safely behind us.

Valerie and Janette

Valerie Worth (Mellon-TORCH KE Fellow, Oxford University)
Janette Allotey (Chair of de Partu)