Working with Nineteenth Century Medical and Health Periodicals
St Anne’s College, Oxford
30 May 2015
The nineteenth century saw an explosion in the number of medical periodicals available to the interested reader. Publications such as the Lancet and British Medical Journal are familiar names to many of us, still published and widely read today. The period also saw a huge range of smaller journals appearing, as practitioners increasingly organised themselves into more discrete medical ‘specialisms’ towards the end of the century. The Asylum Journal, later Journal of Mental Science, for example, sought to bring together the knowledge of those working in the expanding field of psychiatry, whilst The Homoeopathic World provided a forum for discussion for those practicing homoeopathic medicine, and was read both by medical professionals and laypeople.
As digitization projects advance, an increasing number of these medical periodicals are becoming available to researchers. We are interested in learning more about the nature and methodologies of current research projects that involve working with these journals, as well as broader issues surrounding this kind of research: digitizing material, locating journals (particularly obscure ones), and using and searching collections. We will be asking questions about how to read periodicals, how to situate these materials within a broader historical medical context, and how to construct narratives based on periodical research. In the longer term we would like to build up a network of people working closely on or with medical and health periodicals.
We welcome proposals from researchers working on medical periodicals across the world. If you would like to give a short (c.10 mins) presentation on your work in this area, please email firstname.lastname@example.org by 13 February 2015, including an abstract of not more than 250 words and a short biography. If you would like to attend the workshop without giving a paper, please register your interest by emailing us at the address above.
This workshop is being co-hosted by the ERC-funded ‘Diseases of Modern Life’ and AHRC-funded ‘Constructing Scientific Communities’ projects at the University of Oxford.
I am currently working on the ‘Scientific Temperance’ movement (1880s-1930s+)and the appeals to medical and health benefits of teetotalism in the many associated medical and general periodicals. I shall be giving a paper in Ghent at RSVP this year, plus, I hope, at the ESPRit conference in Stockholm. I have only just seen your announcement, and I am sorry I’m too late to offer a 10 minute presentation, as I would have been keen to do this. Is there any chance for me to do so?
If not, I still look forward to the day’s presentations and discussions.
Annemarie McAllister (Senior Research Fellow in History, University of Central Lancashire).