Call for Papers: Social medicine, medical geography and health care for indigenous populations: “Ethnic Pathology” (Max Kuczynski, 1925) in Germany, Russia, Latin America and beyond.
International Workshop, November 24 – 26, 2006, Justus-Liebig-Universität Gießen, Germany
Dedline for Abstracts: July 31, 2006
Aims of the workshop
The goal of the workshop is to gather scholars from various countries and disciplines (e. g. history of medicine, general history, medical anthropology and public health) for a joint analysis of the concept of “ethnic pathology”, developed by the German-Peruvian pathologist, bacteriologist and social hygienist Max Kuczynski (Berlin, 1890 – Lima, 1967). Designed as a means to grasp social and cultural as well as physical and biological aspects of disease during especially seminal period of medical history (1920s to 1950s), the “ethnic pathology” approach raises important questions to understand the theoretical and methodological challenges for health care and research, especially in rural and indigenous populations. Rooted in different medical traditions and scientific currents of late 19th and early 20th century (like medical geography, social medicine, bacteriology and hygiene, as well as pathology, social and cultural anthropology), the “ethnic pathology”-approach will be taken as starting point for a broad examination of the development, transnational extension and local adaptation of social medicine, hygiene and related fields in the first half of the 20th century. Further, the remarkable international dimension of Kuczynski’s research activities in Europe, Central Asia and Latin America will lead to a comparative perspective and an examination of the interaction of European and German medicine in the non-industrialized world during the first half of the 20th century. The conference will devote special attention to the interdisciplinary and multinational health approaches to social and ethnic diversity.
Background: “ethnic pathology” (M. Kuczynski, 1925)
The concept of “ethnic pathology” (“ethnische Pathologie”) was developed by Max H. Kuczynski in the first half of the 1920s. At that time, he was professor of pathology at the University of Berlin, and undertook a number of expeditions to Poland, Russia and Central Asia (Mongolia, China) and Brazil to investigate the influence of geography, climate, social aspects and ethnicity on the occurrence of diseases. During these expeditions, he used different research techniques such as autopsy, bacteriological and clinical examinations, and ethnographic observations and interviews. Due to his Jewish family background, Kuczynski was forced to leave Germany in 1933. He changed his name (signing now as Maxime Kuczynski-Godard) and finally settled down in Peru in 1936. In Lima, he joined the Institute for Social Medicine at San Marcos University, and until 1948 worked on behalf of the Peruvian government in the Amazon and the Andes. Kuczynski defined as “ethnic pathology” his comprehensive medical research as well as locally and culturally adapted health interventions for indigenous rural populations.
Structure and subjects of the workshop
The workshop will be divided thematically into three main themes:
1. “Ethnic pathology”: the genealogy of an interdisciplinary approach in scientific medicine. The historical analysis of the “ethnic pathology”-approach raises questions about the relation between pathology, social medicine and social hygiene. On a more general level, this leads to inquire for the place of social, cultural, ethnic and geographical aspects within scientific medicine.
2. International perspectives: Germany, Central Asia (Russia) and Latin America. By the example of the “ethnic pathology”-approach, German and European international relations in medicine in the first half of the 20th century will be addressed, with special focus on issues of reception and adaptation of imported knowledge in different geographical contexts. A theme that will be analyzed is how the so-called “periphery” receives medical influences from the “modern”, industrialized world. The particular case of Kuczynski will be compared with the example of other scholars of German origin with outstanding international activities like Adolpho Lutz (1855-1940, Switzerland/Germany-Hawaii-Brazil).
3. The legacy: medical research and health care for social and culturally heterogeneous populations then and now. At the beginning of the third millennium, cultural diversity in health care, and the spread of, for example, infectious diseases in socially marginalized communities, or health care inequities related to social and economic changes and migration, are issues of major importance. The questions addressed by Kuczynski and other actors with similar interests in the first half of the last century, are still important. Achievements as well as failures of the recent past can provide important contributions for a comprehensive understanding of current problems.
Contributions are welcome to all the three subject areas identified above, as well as works on the diffusion of European social medicine beyond the European continent. Papers focussing on “ethnic pathology” and similar approaches in the Asian context (Russia, Central Asia) would be especially appreciated. Until present, the following scholars have confirmed participation: J. Benchimol and M. Romero (Rio de Janeiro), I. Borowy (Rostock), J. Comelles (Tarragona), S. Gross Solomon (Toronto), W. Eckart (Heidelberg), A. Kroeger (WHO, Geneva), J. P. Murillo (Lima), E. Quevedo (Bogotá), C.-R. Prüll (Freiburg), J. Richter (Berlin), E. Rodriguez-Ocaña (Granada), V. Roelcke (Gießen), P. Weindling (Oxford).
Deadline for abstracts
Abstracts (300 words, English) should be submitted to Marcos Cueto (firstname.lastname@example.org) or Michael Knipper (Michael.Knipper@histor.med.uni-giessen.de) until July 31, 2006. Successful applications will be notified by September 1. The organizers are able to offer a number of travel and accommodation costs, especially from graduate students and scholars applying from developing countries, thanks to the support of the workshop by the Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft (DFG).
The workshop will take place at Justus-Liebig-Universität in Gießen, Germany, located approx. 70km in the north of Frankfurt/Main. The presentation of papers and discussion will be in English.
Dr. Michael Knipper, Institute for the History of Medicine, Justus-Liebig-Universität Gießen, Jheringstr. 6, 35392 Gießen, Germany
Prof. Marcos Cueto, PhD, Department of Sociomedical Sciences, School of Public Health, Universidad Peruana Cayetano Heredia, Av. Honorio Delgado 430, Lima, Peru Email: email@example.com
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