Medical Practice in Early Modern Britain in Comparative Perspective
University of Exeter (UK)
4-6 September, 2017
Papers are invited for an international conference to be held at the University of Exeter (UK) on 4-6 September 2017, funded by the Wellcome Trust Senior Investigator Award for the project ‘The Medical World of Early Modern England, Wales and Ireland 1500-1715’ led by Professor Jonathan Barry and Dr Peter Elmer at Exeter (see the project website at http://practitioners.exeter.ac.uk).
This conference will consider the outputs from this project, in particular the database which has been created of more than 30,000 medical practitioners operating in the period, and the opportunities this offers for new research in the field. It will also consider comparative perspectives on early modern Britain, both spatially and temporally, and so welcomes papers from colleagues working on medical practice in other parts of Europe or its colonies, on other cultures (Islamic, Indian, Chinese etc) and also on the periods either side of our 1500-1715 focus, so that we can place the findings of the project in the widest possible context.
Proposals for panels will be welcomed, but so will individual paper proposals, including from research students (for whom bursaries covering the cost of attendance will be available). Those attending will be given exclusive access in advance of the conference to research findings from the project database, which they will be encouraged to consider in their contributions, which we expect to be pre-circulated to encourage the highest level of focused debate during the conference. Senior scholars willing to act as commentators on papers are also encouraged to express an interest in this role, as well as in offering their own papers.
Major themes for consideration include the following:
- Continuity and change in the character and scope of medical practice, including the impact of war and imperial expansion on pre-existing medical culture, the influence of new ideas and/or persistence of established approaches across the period, as well as the significance of attempts at regulation.
- Trends in education, training and career patterns, encompassing hereditary succession, patronage, apprenticeship and university study, and levels of provision in different regions and types of settlement.
- The roles played by women, in popular and domestic medicine and beyond, and by other alternatives to orthodox male practitioners, and by the growth of new methods fro the production and sale of medicines.
- The place of medicine within processes of social and cultural change in the British Isles more generally, and the wider parts played by medical practitioners in scientific, intellectual, political, military, confessional and other spheres.
- The opportunities for comparative research across national boundaries, both in tracing the movement of medical practitioners and in comparing levels and types of medical provision in different cultures.
If you are interested in participating please send an email to Professor Jonathan Barry at J.Barry@exeter.ac.uk, with an abstract of c. 200 words indicating the proposed topic of any paper or panel, preferably by 15 September, 2016.