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Durham University

Wolfson Research Institute for Health and Wellbeing

Previous Events

List of months

Saturday 10 July 2010

‘Knowledge, Ethics and Representations of Medicine and Health: Historical Perspectives’. SSHM 2010 Conference

Durham and Newcastle University

Call for Papers

The Society for the Social History of Medicine invites submissions for its 2010 Conference ‘Knowledge, Ethics and Representations of Medicine and Health: Historical Perspectives’, to be held at Durham and Newcastle (UK), 8-11 July 2010, organised by the Northern Centre for the History of Medicine (NCHM).

Deadline for proposals: 1 November 2009

The organisers welcome proposals for 20-minute papers under the theme ‘Knowledge, Ethics and Representations of Medicine and Health: Historical Perspectives’. We particularly encourage papers addressing questions such as:

• What processes have generated knowledge about the body, illness and health that has become authoritative in different societies?
• How have claims of medical expertise been justified vis à vis claims from other domains of social and cultural authority such as religion and law?
• What did it mean for medical practitioners in different cultural and social contexts to claim to be ethical as well as knowledgeable?
• How did they present themselves to the public?
• What kind of material, visual and textual representations of body, mind, health and disease have gained ‘defining power’ exerting influence on medical practice and research until today?

Submissions covering all periods (from Antiquity to the 21st Century) and all regions of the world are welcome.

In addition to individual papers, we seek proposals for panel sessions (with 3 papers), as well as suggestions for suitable chairpersons.

Abstracts of up to 250 words should include the title of the paper, information concerning the research question examined, the sources used and preliminary results. Please also include on the abstract your contact details (name, affiliation, email-address).

All papers are to represent original work not already published.

Please send your proposal by 1 November 2009 to the NCHM (Email: Decisions on papers will be made by January 2010.

We are also seeking proposals for posters (max 150 words) and would appreciate it if these could also be sent by 1 November 2009.

Key-note speakers will include: Professor Heinrich von Staden (Institute for Advanced Studies, Princeton, USA), Dr Tim Boon (Science Museum, London, UK), Professor Martha Few (University of Arizona, USA), Professor Dr Thomas Lemke (Goethe-University, Frankfurt am Main, Germany)

Organising Committee: Philip van der Eijk (Newcastle University), Holger Maehle (Durham University), Cathy McClive (Durham University), Diana Paton (Newcastle University), Thomas Rütten (Newcastle University), and Lutz Sauerteig (Durham University)

For more information on the SSHM please see For more information on the NCHM, a collaboration of historians of medicine from Durham and Newcastle universities, please see

Part of the Durham University Institute of Advanced Studies Public Lecture Series 2009-2010

Contact for more information about this event.

Contact for more information about this event.

Thursday 8 July 2010

Psycho-education and problem-solving in personality disorder- the PEPS Trial' - Launch Seminar: Speaker Mary McMurran (University of Nottingham)

12:00pm to 2:00pm, Wolfson Seminar Room F009, Durham University, Queens Campus, Stockton on Tees, TS17 6BH

Please join the seminar launch of PEPS, a major new randomised study of psychological intervention in personality disorder. Tees, Esk and Wear Valleys NHS Foundation Trust is one of only three sites nationally for PEPS, and will be recruiting participants over the next 2 years.

Title: ‘Psycho-education and problem-solving in personality disorder- the PEPS Trial'
Speaker: Mary McMurran (University of Nottingham)
Lunch will be provided.

Mary McMurran is Professor of Personality Disorder Research in the Division of Psychiatry, University of Nottingham. She is Chief Investigator of the HTA-funded PEPS trial - a multisite randomised controlled trial of Psycho-Education plus Problem Solving for community adults with personality disorder. Tees, Esk and Wear Valleys NHS Foundation Trust is one of three sites nationally for PEPS. Her research interests include: social problem solving as a model of understanding and treating people with personality disorders; understanding and enhancing motivation to engage in therapy; and the assessment and treatment of alcohol-related aggression and violence. She has written over 100 articles and book chapters. She is a Fellow of the British Psychological Society, and recipient of the BPS Division of Forensic Psychology's Lifetime Achievement Award in 2005.

To book a place please confirm to the email address below (for catering purposes) or contact:-

Val Heard on behalf of Professor Joe Reilly
Research Administrator
Research & Development Department
Tees, Esk & Wear Valleys NHS FoundationTrust
TAD Centre
Ormesby Road

Office Tel: 01642 516981
Fax: 01642 243734

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Tuesday 6 July 2010

The Body on Display, from Renaissance to Enlightenment

An interdisciplinary symposium for early career researchers, supported by the Society for the Social History of Medicine, the Royal Historical Society and the Centre for Seventeenth-Century Studies

Keynote speaker: Dr. Peter Mitchell (University of Wales, Lampeter)

At once an organ system, disciplinary target, metaphor, creation of God, cultural construction, 'self' and receptacle for the soul, it is not surprising that the body has fallen under the attention of historians of art, gender, thought, medicine, theatre and costume, and of literary scholars, archaeologists and historical sociologists and philosophers. This symposium will look at the human and human-like body on, and as, display, between c.1400 and c.1800. We will explore the notion, and reality, of the exposure of the inner and outer human form, and the representational, visual and material cultures of the body. This was a formative (and even transformative) period for the visual and representational culture of human corporeality, witnessing the watersheds of Renaissance and Enlightenment, challenges to long-held understandings of the body and, allegedly, both the creation of the modern 'self' and the eventual secularization of Western society.

Possible topics might include (but are not limited to):

  • Dissection, the medical 'gaze' and medical illustration
  • Corporeality and the flesh in the visual, written and performing arts
  • The body in religious iconography, hagiography and religious performance
  • Gesture, kinesics and the expression of emotions
  • Corporal punishment and bodily shaming
  • Clothing, garments and cosmetics and their significance

Papers of 20 minutes are invited from postgraduates and postdoctoral researchers working on any part of the period. Studies looking at non-European countries are especially encouraged, as is flexibility in approaching the body as a visual, performative, aesthetic and representational entity. Please send abstracts (of no more than 300 words) to by 30 January 2010.

The symposium will be held immediately before the Society for the Social History of Medicine's annual conference 2010 (also at Durham University), to facilitate early career attendance at both events. It will be accompanied by an exhibition of original materials to be held at Palace Green Library, Durham University.

Please see the website for more information.

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Evolutionary Medicine Seminar - 'Medicine without evolution is like engineering without physics' by Professor Randolph Nesse, University of Michigan

5:00pm to 7:00pm, Room A11, Holliday Building, Durham University, Queen's Campus, Stockton on Tees, TS17 6BH


It is perfectly possible to practice medicine without understanding evolutionary  biology; millions of doctors do it every day.  Learning evolutionary biology would, however, make many physicians more effective, and more satisfied with their work.  While evolution offers some direct applications in medicine, its more powerful utility is the same as what physics offers for engineering-a foundation in basic principles that explain why things are the way they are.  Larger investments in evolution education for physicians pay off in three ways. First, researchers who already use some evolution find greater power as they have opportunities to learn the details; infectious disease and genetics offer good examples.  Second, new answers come from asking new evolutionary questions about why the body is the way it is; studies of gout, bilirubin, sex differences in mortality and depression are good examples.  Third, and perhaps most important, is replacing the outmoded metaphor of the body as a machine with a more biological model of the body as a bundle of tradeoffs shaped by natural selection to maximize Darwinian fitness.  This change in perspective is as fundamental for medicine as atomic theory is for engineers.  Medicine can be practiced without evolution, and engineering without physics, but only at a great loss in depth of understanding.

This seminar will commence at 17:00 with light refreshments.  The lecture will commence at 17:30, with questions and answers at 18:30 and an anticipated close at 19:00. 

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Friday 2 July 2010

'Primary Health Care in Australia - Implications for Research and Policy' - Guest lecture by Caroline Nicholson, Director, Mater University of Queensland, Centre for Primary Health Care Innovation

12:00pm to 1:30pm, Seminar Room F009, Wolfson Research Institute, Durham University, Queen's Campus, Stockton

In the last 12 months in Australia there has been a plethora of policy statements and strategy documents for health care. At the centre of the strategy for the 'National Health and Hospital Network' is Primary Health Care with Australia's first national Primary Health Care Strategy delivered in April 2010. This presentation will provide an overview of where primary health care is being positioned in Australia and what it means for future research and policy.

Contact for more information about this event.