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Thursday, February 10, 2005

Upcoming seminars at Uni

FYI:

Monday, Feb. 21, 4pm Department of History, Monday, Feb. 21, 4pm
David Wright, McMaster University, Industrialization and the Institutional Confinement of the Insane in the Western World The rise of the lunatic asylum remains one of the most controversial events in modern social and medical history. For several decades, the historiography of the mental hospital was dominated by a group of historians and sociologists who argued that these institutions were largely instruments of social control, conceived by the medical profession but supported by elites within society eager to incarcerate marginal and dangerous elements within society. Over the course of the last ten years, however, this 'revisionist' thesis about the mental hospital has come under attack. An unprecedented investigation into the characteristics of asylum patients has demonstrated repeatedly that women, the elderly, and vagrants were not disproportionately incarcerated in these purpose built institutions.
This paper will summarize the principal findings of the new history of asylums, and particularly the confinement of the insane in various industrializing countries. After outlining the broad socio-demographic characteristics of the patient population found in most mental hospitals, the paper will seek to outline a new over-arching thesis of institutionalization, one based on the demographic and epidemiological impacts of industrialization. Particular attention will be paid to the impact of migration and in-migration on kin-availability, as well as the changing role and status of women in industrialized societies. Directions for future research will also be discussed.

16 February Professor Virginia Berridge: Visit to University of Auckland, February 2005
, 6pm: Public lecture and Keynote opening address to 'Health and History: International Perspectives', the 9th biennial conference of the Australian Society of the History of Medicine, 16-19 February 2005.
Can history predict the future? Reflections on the role of history in policy. Abstract: History is a popular public subject. Tracing family history has stimulated interest in ' roots'; and historical programmes are a staple of television scheduling. Historians are recognisable public figures, and history books on war or biography top the best-seller lists. History has entertainment value. But is it now time for it to move on? Another role beckons, the use of history for policy makers. This lecture will analyse the role of history and of historians in policy making for health. Should historians be activists in policy and what are the implications of getting involved? Is history the best means we have of predicting the future?

22 February, 12.30: School of Population Health
An historical perspective on tobacco control

23 February, 11am: Department of Sociology
'Doing contemporary health history and being activists in policy - the historian's role?' This will be a follow-up talk and discussion to the public lecture on 16 February.

24 February, 4pm: History Department
The Sources Bite Back: Oral History and the Study of Elites in Contemporary History'

25 February, 3pm: Seminar Series in the Social Science for Public Health Programme (location: the School of Population Health)
Changing places? Using drugs, alcohol and tobacco since the nineteenth century

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