"Social History of Medicine Today: A Classic Approach in the Aftermath of the Turns"

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Professor Alfons Labisch

(Director of the Institute for the History of Medicine; Rector emeritus, Heinrich Heine Universität Düsseldorf)

"Social History of Medicine Today: A Classic Approach in the Aftermath of the Turns"

(Introduced by Paul Weindling)

[38min06; 31 slides]


Centre for Health, Medicine and Society at Oxford Brookes University, 1 October 2013

This is the first paper of the Autumn 2013 History of Medicine Seminar Series on "The Personal and the Public: Perspectives on the Social History of Health and Medicine" funded by the Centre's Wellcome Trust Strategic Award.

Abstract: In the late 1960s, social history developed into an imperative approach in general historiography. Since the mid-1970s, also social history of medicine has been developed into a comprehensive research approach. But in the 1990s, all of a sudden, social history of medicine vanished. The constructivist history of science, the linguistic-constructivist theories in humanities and micro-historiographical approaches from general history prevailed. After the first decade of the 21st century, the innovative highlights of these developments exceeded. Just at this point, it is appropriate to ask for the genuine and permanent role of a social history of medicine. Seen from the peculiarity of medicine the social history of medicine has a genuine field of topics in the social environment of disease and health. These topics have to be treated with their own approaches and methods, derived from its reference disciplines sociology and economics.


Podcasts in this Seminar Series:

Prof Alfons Labisch (Heinrich Heine Universität Düsseldorf):

"Social History of Medicine Today: A Classic Approach in the Aftermath of the Turns." 1 October 2013  [38min06]

Dr Paul Watkins(Oxford Brookes University):

"European Veterinary Refugees 1933-1950: From Despair to Diplomas" 15 October 2013 [39min30]

Dr Pamela Michael(Honorary Senior Research Fellow, School of Social Sciences, Bangor University):

"Private Worlds and Public Asylums: A Study of two Welsh Mental Hospitals." 29 October 2013 [45min35]

Prof Ludmilla Jordanova(Professor of History and Visual Culture, University of Durham):

"Intimacy and Display in ‘Medical’ Portraits." 26 November 2013 [41min15]

Dr Roberta Bivins(Director, Centre for the History of Medicine, University of Warwick):

"‘Slummy Foreign Germs’? Politics, Medicine and Postcolonial Migration." 10 December 2013 [45min34]



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