The New York Academy of Medicine Section on Historical Medicine announces the John K. Lattimer Lecture for its 2002-2003 season:
MEDICINE, MODERNITY, AND THE GERMAN JEWS
JOHN EFRON, PH.D., UNIVERSITY OF CALIFORNIA, BERKELEY
Thursday, March 13, 2003, 6:00 PM
(Refreshments will be served at 5:30 PM)
Medicine played an important role in the early secularization and eventual modernization of German Jewish culture. And, as both physicians and patients, Jews exerted a great influence on the formation of modern medical discourse and practice. This lecture will explore how medicine intersected with Jewish life at key moments in the history of German Jews, moments that serve to illustrate the neglected corporeal dimension to Jewish acculturation after the emergence from the ghetto.
John Efron’s new book, Medicine and the German Jews: A History (Yale University Press, 2001) investigates the relationship between German Jews and medicine from medieval times until its demise under the Nazis. Efron examines the rise of the German Jewish physician in the Middle Ages and his emergence as a new kind of secular, Jewish intellectual in the early modern period and beyond. The author shows how nineteenth-century medicine regarded Jews as possessing distinct physical and mental pathologies, which in turn led to the emergence in modern Germany of the “Jewish body” as a cultural and scientific idea. He demonstrates why Jews flocked to the medical profession in Germany and Austria, discusses how this affected Jewish and German culture, and concludes with the fate of Jewish doctors under the Nazis, whose assault on them was designed to eliminate whatever intimacy had been built up between Germans and their Jewish doctors over the centuries.
This event is free and open to the public. For more information about NYAM programs in the history of medicine, write firstname.lastname@example.org or call Christian Warren.
Founded in 1847, the New York Academy of Medicine is a non-profit organization dedicated to enhancing the health of the public through research, education and advocacy, with a particular focus on disadvantaged urban populations. Please visit our website.
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