New Podcasts: Coverage of the conference "The Disease Within: Confinement in Europe, 1400-1800”

We are delighted to announce the release of 7 podcasts, papers presented to the conference: “The Disease Within: Confinement in Europe, 1400-1800”Oxford Brookes University 4-5th March 2011

Go to Podcasts


Conference Summary

This two-day conference brought together leading scholars from medical history, early modern social history and architectural history to exchange and debate ideas regarding the relationship between health and architecture in institutions of confinement. Two central themes were explored: the effect of confinement on the health of those within the institutions and debates about the potential effects of unhealthy bodies of the poor, sick, criminal and dangerous inmates on wider towns and cities. Despite the best attempts by authorities, inhabitants and their diseases continued to pose a risk to communities’ health and morality from behind closed doors and beyond high walls.

The podcasts presented below were kindly funded by the Wellcome Trust Strategic Award held by Oxford Brookes University’s ‘Centre for Health, Medicine and Society: Past and Present’.


Vanessa Harding(Birkbeck)

“Health and the Urban Environment”


Tim McHugh(Oxford Brookes)  

Playing the Confinement Card: Financing of small hospitals in Britany, 16662-1772”


Laura McGough(Ghana)

“Female Asylums and the French Disease in Early Modern Venice” As read by Tricia Allerston


Jane Stevens Crawshaw(Oxford Brookes)

“‘From a Distance it Looks like a Castle’: Contagion, communities and confinement in early modern Venice”


Kevin Siena(Trent and Oxford Brookes International Research Fellow)

“Jail Fever: a story of class, contagion and panic in eighteenth-century London”


Alysa Levene(Oxford Brookes)

“Confined for their own Good”


Peter Jones(Oxford Brookes)            

“Putting the ‘Work’ in ‘Workhouse’: The causes and effects of periodic confinement on children under the English Old Poor Law”





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