An international conference hosted by the History of Medicine Unit, University of Birmingham, and sponsored by the Wellcome Trust and the Society for the Social History of Medicine, 29 – 30 October 2010
Skin and skin disease is a central focus of many sub-fields in the history of medicine, including the history of venereal disease, cancer, leprosy, TB and industrial medicine. This conference seeks to address the subject of skin, its diseases and their treatment broadly since 1700. In the process, it aims to bring together individuals working in very different sub-fields in medical and cultural history over the past three centuries. It further aims to promote discussion of the subject in the context of the history of specialisation more generally, as well as the history of senses, sight, smell and touch being central to understandings of skin disease and the way in which such diseases are experienced by practitioners, patients and the public historically. The history of skin ailments also invites exploration of the historical relationship between professional medicine and wider cultural endeavours such as aesthetics, probing realms where health and beauty converge. The conference might similarly offer an opportunity to examine how medical understandings of the skin may have influenced or been influenced by the politics of race.
The organisers wish to invite proposals for 20-30 minute papers on any aspect of the history of skin and its diseases since 1700. Abstracts should be between 200-300 words in length and will be received until 30 April. A programme, featuring a keynote address by Professor Philip Wilson (Penn State, USA), will be advertised in June 2010.
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