dimanche 31 janvier 2016

Séminaire "Science, médecine et culture"

Science, Medicine, and Culture seminar  

Programme for Hilary Term 2016

Casting no doubt: Plaster Heads in Victorian/Edwardian Science and Medicine 

Wednesday 3 February 2016 (Week 3)
5.30 – 7.00, Seminar Room 3, St Anne’s College

Science and medicine rely on extra-textual objects. From within the array of instruments, models, specimens and other material culture this paper will focus on a specific medium (plaster of Paris casts) and a specific anatomy (the human head). Examples from medicine, anthropology and anatomy will illustrate the particularities of the process of casting, the relationships between interior and exterior, between life and death. Museum stores to this day hold thousands of these widely reproduced and circulated casts, their quantity bewildering, their status ambiguous. Unpacking their significance as clinical and scientific records in the decades around 1900 is revealing.

Medical and technological limits: exploiting, evaluating and alleviating adult hearing loss in Britain up to the Great War
Professor Graeme Gooday, Professor of History of Science and Technology, University of Leeds

Wednesday 17 February 2016 (Week 5)
5.30 – 7.00, Seminar Room 3, St Anne’s College

While early 19th-century otologists claimed they could ‘cure’ most categories of deafness, by the early twentieth century such boasts were more characteristic of opportunist mail order advertisers. Victorian middle class people who experienced significant auditory loss in adulthood could thus not expect much assistance from physicians in attempting to sustain life among the hearing. Some followed Harriet Martineau’s example and declared their ‘deafness’ publicly by sporting a hearing trumpet to aid conversation. The more self-conscious opted for hearing assistance discreetly disguised in, for example, a ladies’ bonnet or a gentleman’s top hat. Those untroubled by myopia could instead learn lip-reading, or occasionally hand signing. These purported ‘solutions’ to hearing loss were much debated alongside many other aspects of deafness in the Deaf Chronicle founded in 1889, and in its successor periodicals.

Drinks will be served after each seminar and all are welcome; there is no need to book in advance.

The Science, Medicine and Culture seminar series is jointly organised by the Diseases of Modern Life and Constructing Scientific Communities projects at the University of Oxford.

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