This conference will look to the future as much as to the past. Some of the world's leading historians and social scientists of biomedicine and women's health will meet in Melbourne on 21-23 June 2001 to reflect on a century of change. The history of women's bodies is central to the history of women. Women remain the greatest consumers of therapies either as patients or as carers of patients. In a mere hundred years, however, western biomedicine has transformed human health and reproduction, promising reliable fertility control, safer childirth, healthier babies, less infection, childbirth without pain, hormonal therapies, the conquest of infertility. But what have they really achieved and have there been costs and shortcomings?
Women also have shaped biomedicine as health professionals and as alert and ciitical clients. From the late 1960s there has been a new concern with women's health and women's relationship with biomedicine. Much thoughtful work has come from historians of medicine and science.
Now at the beginning of the 21st century we need to take stock with a global perspective. What can we learn from the past? What can we learn from each other? What can we take usefully into the future? How far do we still have to go?
Tthe conference joins leading scholars with health practiitioners, activists, planners and concerned citizens. It will have both public and specialist sessions and will feature some of the most powerful speakers on women's bodies/women's history including:
Rima Apple, Warwick Anderson, Linda Bryder, Fiona Cram, Patricia Crawford, Anni Dugdale, Janet Golden, Patricia Grimshaw, Judith Walzer Leavitt, Lewis Leavitt, Martha Macintyre, Janet McCalman, Lenore Manderson, Margaret Marsh, Barbara Mortimer, Marjorie Muecke, Margaret Pelling, Susan Reverby, Naomi Rogers, Maila Stivens, Martha Verbrugge, Elizabeth Watkins.
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