Society for the Social History of Medicine Summer conference.
This call for papers may interest historians of science, technology of medicine, anthropologists and the cultural studies community.
Modern medicine and medical technologies are inseparable. The rhetoric of medical progress continues to dominate media announcements of medical discoveries such as new drugs for AIDS patients or potential cures for cancer. The use of technologies such as hip replacements and artificial lenses, meanwhile, has become routine practice in industrialised countries. Since the 1960s, however, new medical technologies have increasingly been seen not only as opportunities but also as risky, something to worry about. The recent debates about therapeutic cloning are but one example.
While some think that the 'golden age' of modern medicine may be over, universities make great efforts to connect the production of knowledge with the production of commodities. It has become fashionable to think about new technologies as innovations, as products for a market. But how new is this perspective, and how specific to current medical debates? With this conference we want to investigate medical innovations from a historical perspective. We invite abstracts on medical technologies not only in a narrow sense - new diagnostic and therapeutic tools, prostheses, kits and apparatuses - but also in a wider sense: the material cultures of hospitals and techno-medicine, that left their marks on medical culture, not only in the 19th and 20th centuries. We are interested in the social shaping of technologies, but also of the responses to technologies.
We would be interested in abstracts that address issues such as the following:
the material cultures of medicine and medical science
medical systems and practices
discourses of innovation and progress
national systems of innovation and marketing
medical devices and tools
diagnostic and therapeutic technologies
the transfer of technologies into different cultural contexts
research and development in history
policy and technical assessment
experimentation and ethical considerations
medical technology in non-western countries
medical technology and knowledge transfer
intellectual property and patenting
Early expressions of interest would be appreciated.
Please contact us if you would like to organise a session.
Please send your abstract of no more than 500 words by October 31, 2002, to:
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