The Wood Institute for the History of Medicine at the College of Physicians of Philadelphia invites proposals for a major conference commemorating the bicentennial of the Lewis and Clark expedition. The theme of the conference, planned for November 4-6, 2004, is “Health and Medicine in the U.S. in the Era of Lewis and Clark.” Chronologically, we are interested in papers dealing with health and medicine in the new republic through about 1820; we intend to be very broad in our definition of “health and medicine.”
An organizing committee – consisting of Ed Morman of the Wood Institute, Martin Levitt of the American Philosophical Society, John Van Horne of the Library Company of Philadelphia, and Daniel Richter of the McNeil Center for Early American Studies at the University of Pennsylvania – will review paper proposals early in fall 2003. The National Library of Medicine and the Academy of Natural Sciences are also co-sponsors of this event.
The event will begin with a keynote talk and dinner on Thursday evening, November 4, 2004, continue with a total of six or seven sessions on Friday and Saturday, November 5-6, 2004 and conclude with a reception on Saturday evening, November 6, 2004. The McNeil Center will organize the Friday afternoon session as part of its regular seminar series.
Session topics may include, but are not limited to:
Health and the environment in the expanding United States
The convergence of European, African and Native American medical traditions
Military medicine in the new republic
Philadelphia medicine after the yellow fever epidemics
Representations of health and illness in contemporary literature and art
Disability in the early American republic
Women as healers and caretakers in the early nineteenth century
Health problems and health care on the Lewis and Clark expedition
Medical botany and the American West
Medical theory and medical practice circa 1800
The organization of health care in the early United States
Urban public health at the start of the nineteenth century
The Wood Institute is undertaking this conference as part of local and national efforts to note the two-hundredth anniversary of the Louisiana Purchase and the Lewis and Clark expedition. Local enthusiasts insist that the expedition actually started in Philadelphia, since President Jefferson dispatched Meriwether Lewis there to provision the team and, equally importantly, to spend time with regional scientists and doctors. Philadelphia is thus the site of a number of commemorative events, including: an exhibit on health aspects of the expedition that opened in the College of Physician’s exhibition gallery in February 2003, the annual meeting of the national Lewis and Clark Heritage Trail Foundation in August 2003, and the Missouri Historical Society’s national touring exhibition (which will open at the Philadelphia’s Academy of Natural Sciences on November 6, 2004). We are planning this conference to coincide with the opening of the MHS exhibit in Philadelphia; the exhibit at the College of Physicians will remain on display for the entire three years of the bicentennial.
We currently have commitments from two major scholars to participate. Prof. Roger Wilkins of George Mason University, author of Jefferson’s Pillow: A Black Patriot Confronts the Myths of the Founding Fathers, will give the keynote address on Jefferson’s views of American expansion and the peoples of the continent. Prof. Charles Rosenberg of Harvard University has also agreed to speak and to assist the organizing committee in planning the conference.
This will be a scholarly conference intended to generate papers suitable for publication as a collection. Participants will be expected to submit a 25- to 30-page draft one month in advance of the conference. These papers will not be generally pre-circulated, but will be made available to session commentators. Oral presentations will be limited to summaries of 20 to 25 minutes. To have their papers considered for publication, participants must have the longer version in shape for submission by the time of the conference. The American Philosophical Society is very interested in the book project and has requested right of first refusal as publisher.
We invite proposals on any topic pertinent to the general theme of the conference. Submissions of individual papers or of complete sessions are welcome. Proposals are due September 30, 2003. We expect to cover travel expenses to and from Philadelphia and lodging during the conference for those selected to present papers. In addition we hope to be able to offer a modest honorarium, the amount of which will depend on the success of our fund-raising efforts.
Proposals – of no more than 500 words for individual papers or 1,000 words for sessions – may be submitted as email attachments or in paper form. Proposals should be accompanied by CVs of all participants. For further information please contact any of the organizers. Proposals should be sent directly to Ed Morman as email attachments, on floppy disks, or in paper.
Please consider proposing a paper. We also invite your suggestions for other speakers or session topics.
Send comments and questions to H-Net
Webstaff. H-Net reproduces announcements that have been submitted to us as a
free service to the academic community. If you are interested in an announcement
listed here, please contact the organizers or patrons directly. Though we strive
to provide accurate information, H-Net cannot accept responsibility for the text of
announcements appearing in this service. (Administration)