School of History, Philosophy and Culture

  • Research-MedicalHistory-header_jpg
  • Podcasts

    • History of Medicine #25: Race – a history of a bad idea


      Upstream, the BAME Action Group and the Working Group on the History of Race and Eugenics are pleased to invite you to a book launch: Historicizing Race by Marius Turda and Maria Sophie Quine (Bloomsbury, 2018). Co-author Marius Turda will introduce the book and read a few extracts. In response Sasha Coutinho, International Relations and Business Management, and Graham van Wyk, OBI, will reflect on the contribution the book makes in understanding the idea of “race” and its implications today. The event will be chaired by Syed Imam, History. We invite you to participate in what will be a lively discussion of the idea of “race” across history, and which unfortunately, is still making history! This seminar took place at Oxford Brookes University on 13 April 2018.

    • History of Medicine #24: Suitable for Parenthood: The Eugenics of Reproductive Health in Mid-Twentieth-Century Britain


      In this seminar Gayle Davis shifts the conceptual framework from characterizations of pregnant women and motherhood more widely to those of women whose pregnancy aspirations required medical assistance, and the degree to which their desire for children was pathologised by medical professionals in postwar Britain. Offering a remarkable insight into the longevity of eugenic paradigms with regards to selecting donors for artificial insemination procedures, and the social perception thereof, the seminar also critically investigates the Feversham Committee of the 1950s and the context informing the often critical views of practitioners questioning the motives of both the would-be mother and would-be donor father. This seminar took place at Oxford Brookes University on 11 December 2012.

    • History of Medicine #23: Spinsters and Lesbians as Spiritual Mothers of the British Race


      In this seminar Florence Binard explores the dichotomy of ‘eugenic feminists’ in contrast to ‘feminist eugenics’ by focusing primarily on authors of the former group that understood themselves as both feminists as well as eugenicists. Binard critically investigates the works of Edith Ellis, Mary Sharlieb, Frances Swiney, Elizabeth Sloan Chester, and Caleb Saleeby towards illuminating the extent to which debates on reproduction and feminism related to the social construction of childless women and changing perceptions of their wider societal functions. This seminar took place at Oxford Brookes University on 27 November 2012.

    • History of Medicine #22: Send in the Clones? Naomi Mitchison (née Haldane)’s Musing on Reproduction, Breeding, Feminism, Socialism and Eugenics from the 1920s to the 1970s


      In this seminar Lesley Hall investigates the relationship between feminism and eugenics through the fascinating lens of Naomi Mitchison’s fiction. JBS Haldane’s sister, and very much situated at the centre of the eugenic and literary movements of her time, Naomi Mitchison was a prolific author writing path braking historical fiction amongst other works before turning to Science Fiction. Scrutinizing her personal and political lives, this seminar focuses on three of Mitchison’s postwar works in relation to perceptions of breeding and reproduction, namely Memoirs of a Spacewomen (1962), Solution 3 (1975), and Not by Bread Alone (1983). This seminar took place at Oxford Brookes University on 13 November 2012.

    • History of Medicine #21: Women, the Family and Eugenics in Nazi Germany


      This seminar offers a particularly insightful, and far ranging investigation of German eugenics before the Nazi rise to power and in its aftermath, focusing on the regime’s various policies to promote professed ‘valuable’ offspring on the one hand, and strategies to prevent and eliminate those deemed undesirable on the other by means of sterilization and euthanasia. This seminar took place at Oxford Brookes University on 30 October 2012

    • History of Medicine #20: Eugenics and Maternalism during the Century of Woman: Trends in Eastern Europe


      In the larger context of arguing for recasting the twentieth century as ‘the century of woman’, this seminar seeks to highlight the role eugenics played in relationship to maternalism as an example of women’s integration in state making and modernization policies. This seminar took place at Oxford Brookes University on 16 October 2012

    • History of Medicine #19: Eugeni-fascist Vitalism, Racial Prepotency, and Maternal Health in Interwar Italy


      This seminar addresses the main theme of the lecture series on eugenics and maternal and child health by exploring the issue of ‘maternalism’ within the framework of the feminist and marxist historiography which gave rise to this field of enquiry in the first place. And it explores the topic within the context of Italian fascism’s contradictory attempts in the 1920s and 1930s both to increase the ‘quantity’ (numbers) and improve the ‘quality’ (biology) of the Italian ‘race’. This seminar took place at Oxford Brookes University on 2 October 2012

    • History of Medicine #18: Making experts in the periphery: Toxicology in nineteenth-century Spain


      This seminar’s main objective is to provide an overview of Spanish toxicology in the nineteenth-century and analyzes aspects such as the formation of a community of Spanish toxicologists and the changes produced in toxicology as a discipline. The study also discusses questions relating to the numerous definitions given for ‘poison’, and the difficulties in establishing an agreement between the scientific and legal terms, with a particular focus on an alleged poisoning case that took place in 1844. The debates that arose in these judicial processes point to the difficulties that nineteenth-century toxicologist had to face but that also laid the foundations of toxicology. This seminar took place at Oxford Brookes University on 24 April 2012

    • History of Medicine #17: Place Identity and Healthy Cities


      In this Seminar, Georgia Buttina Watson offers a range of remarkable insights into how urban planning and regeneration can dramatically affect not only the local population‘s sense of self, a geographic and collective identity, but also the wider impact living condition have upon the communities' physical and mental health. A richly illustrated seminar, it investigated, amongst others, Boston’s ‘Big Dig’ redevelopment alongside her own projects such as that in Angeltown and those currently underway in Oxford. This seminar took place at Oxford Brookes University on 17 April 2012

    • History of Medicine #16: A History of Morphological Evolution: From Darwin to Lewis and beyond


      This seminar offers a fascinating and wideranging discussion of the history of morphological evolution conceptually a nd empirically, with a marked emphasis on scientific methodologies and the extent to which genetic manipulation can alter the shape and appearance of specimens – such as the Drosophila mutant with legs for antenna. This seminar took place at Oxford Brookes University on 27 March 2012