mercredi 12 mars 2014

La culture des carabins irlandais

‘That wild and wicked and untameable race'?: Irish medical student culture and the shaping of professional identity, c.1880s-1930s

Dr. Laura Kelly (University College Dublin)

Centre for the History of Science, Technology and Medicine (CHSTM)
University of Manchester
Seminar, Tuesday 18 March, 16:00-17:30
Room 2.217, University Place, 178-186 Oxford Road, Manchester, M13 9PL

Over the past number of years there have been several valuable studies of medical education that have illustrated how shared experiences helped to cement the collective identity of medical students in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. Bonner, Waddington, Reinarz and van Heteren, amongst others, have shown how medical students came together not only for educational experiences in the lecture theatre, laboratory and dissecting-room, but also outside the classroom. Roy Porter describes how it was the ‘boisterous, jovial sporting atmosphere of the all-male medical school with its student hi-jinks and horseplay’ which consolidated an ‘esprit de corps that helped doctors to present some kind of united front’. However, while historians have tended to focus on the educational and more riotous aspects of student life, less attention has been given to their extra-curricular and sporting preoccupations.

This paper focuses on the social lives of medical students in Ireland from the 1880s to the 1930s. I will initially discuss the distinctive aspects of the Irish medical student experience (a student experience that was especially influenced by economic and religious considerations) before going on to examine how medical student identity was cultivated through social activities. Drawing on Irish student magazines, the minute books of student societies and sports clubs, student diaries, doctors’ memoirs and contemporary novels, I will illustrate how social and sporting activities were important tools in shaping the professional identity of students.

This paper will identify how sport was important in cultivating a ‘masculine’ and robust image of the Irish doctor, while medical student societies helped to groom students into respectable future practitioners. It will also give some consideration to the riotous activities of students, addressing the way in which attitudes to such bad behaviour evolved. Analysing these elements of the student experience ultimately provides insight into the image and identity of Irish physicians.

All are welcome and please feel free pass this list on to interested colleagues.

Event co-organised by Niki Vermeulen and Ray Macauley

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