In autumn 2014, the Department of the History of Medicine at Lund University, Sweden, is organising an international symposium in collaboration with the Department of Medical Ethics and History of Medicine at the University Medical Center in Göttingen, Germany, on aspects of the history of medicine in the Baltic Sea region from 1850–2000. The aim is to deepen and broaden knowledge of the development of medicine in the Baltic region by illuminating currents of ideas and traditions, contact zones and areas of conflict.
The countries around the Baltic Sea share a history. The sea has long served as a means of contact for the inhabitants of coastal regions. The Baltic Sea has served to unite and facilitate communication, both in practical terms and in relation to identity. However, the points of view have never been identical. The geographic proximity has also given rise to cultural conflicts, contradictory currents of ideas, and politically constructed boundaries; barriers that have had an isolating effect and cracks that have enabled migration, both of individuals and of ideas and opinions.
From the mid-19th century, experimental medicine began to take a more distinct form. The quantitative and systematic study of medicine established itself. The methodology of measurement became dominant and the new approach resulted in progress. Medicine became a powerful science. However, the progress was accompanied by a new sociology of medicine, an altered view of the participants in health care. The dramaturgy of health care took on newforms, with increasing objectification of the patient and glorification of the doctor. Around the turn of the century, patients’ voices began to make themselves heard at the large medical institutions – sanatoria and mental hospitals.
A key question to be considered at the symposium is:
How has information transfer in the Baltic Sea region influenced medicine as a discipline and disease as an experience during the 19th and 20th centuries?
Three general tracks are planned.
1. The voice of the patient takes shape – disease portrayal around the Baltic Sea
2. Health care staff in exile and on the move
3. Medical advances and setbacks across the Baltic Sea
Key note lectures
Professor Øivind Larsen, Oslo: The shaping of the Scandinavian Physician
Dr Susanne Michl, Mainz: From Braudel's "Méditérranée" to the baltic area. Making and meaning of the "spatial turn" in historiography
The symposium is aimed at health care professionals and academic researchers in the history of medicine and medical humanities in Sweden, Finland, Norway, Denmark, Germany, Poland, Russia, Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania. The symposium particularly wishes to draw attention to young academics – doctoral students or researchers who have completed their thesis since the year 2000.
Date and venue
The symposium will take place in the main assembly hall in Universitetshuset, Lund, 8–10 October 2014. The symposium will start at 11:00 on Wednesday, 8 October and end at 15:00 on Friday, 10 October.
- Abstracts of max. 300 words, with your name, academic affiliation, title of paper and a summary of the topic should be sent by email to Nils Hansson (email@example.com) or Jonatan Wistrand (Jonatan.Wistrand@med.lu.se) by 30 November 2013.
- Contributions are to be presented in English and last a maximum of 20 minutes followed by 5–10 minutes for discussion.
- In 2015, a selection of the contributions will be published in a history of medicine anthology entitled Bridging the Baltic – transfer of medical knowledge in the Baltic Sea region 1850–2000.
- Current PhD students have the possibility of applying for a travel grant from the organising committee. An application for a travel grant should be appended to the abstract.
Department of History of Medicine, Lund University, Sweden in collaboration with the Department of Medical Ethics and History of Medicine at University Medical Center, Göttingen, Germany.
Chairman: Professor Peter M Nilsson, Lund (Peter.Nilsson@med.lu.se)
Co-chairmen / Contact persons:
Dr Nils Hansson, Göttingen (Nils.Hansson@medizin.uni-goettingen.de)
Jonatan Wistrand, Lund, PhD student