Few societies escaped war’s devastating consequences during the Enlightenment and Romantic eras. The organization of medical care for soldiers and sailors during campaigns, battles, and armed conflicts, at sea and on land, by various political regimes, is the focus of this book project.
Originating as a medical discipline, military medicine is now an interdisciplinary, epoch-spanning, and dynamic research field for historians. The establishment of permanent armed forces was a pivotal feature for the emergence of medical care systems for service personnel through the state and adhering institutions. This proposed book’s research focus broadens out from analyses of surgical techniques or purely medical treatments to the exploration of the organizational implementation and expansion of military administrative structures, established to make battlefield medicine more effective. Its theoretical framework connects with the instruments and mechanisms of early modern states and links with the idea of the “Fiscal-Military-State” or the “Fiscal-Naval-State” and the “Composite-State”.
Encompassing the period from 1660 until 1830 allows scholarly investigation into domains that have hitherto received little attention. For example, how did military medicine function during a war? To what extent were military and civil personnel, institutions and entrepreneurs involved? How were preventive strategies in battlefield medicine developed, and which personnel and economic resources were mobilized in order to protect and save soldiers' lives? In addition to organizational success stories and innovations, questions on deficiencies, problems and setbacks, the silent and indirect contributors to mortality, must be equally addressed.
The edited volume’s broad categories of investigation (see below) draw together topics concerning militaries, medicine, governance and statehood with the concepts of a New Military History.
Topics of possible chapters include, but are not limited do:
1. Spectra of motion
Aspects of logistics, like purposeful allocation of resources and distribution, had an enormous impact on the military medical health management. Possible topics include the organization of supply and rescue chains like the analyses of transport routes, the mobilization of draft animals and ships in order to guarantee the delivery and provision of goods and medication by water and on land in time, as well as the transport of patients and casualties.
2. The significance of medical spaces
Focusing on medical spaces enables investigation into institutions and central or regional infrastructures with a permanent or temporary character. Against the background of facility management, workflows and documentation, different types of hospitals, lazarettes, pharmacies could be put into the center of research, which could foster new insights into practical medical care systems.
3. Role of experts
An actor-centered perspective offers the possibility to glimpse at the interactions of individuals and clusters. We are interested in medical healing professionals like surgeons, male and female nursing staff and pharmacists as well as professionals within the military administration, that fulfilled management tasks in field sanitation, hospitals and pharmacies or on board of ships and in harbors. Starting points could be their field of competence and sphere of activity, educational aspects or their involvement in military structures.
4. Learning effects and synergies
The chronological scope (16501830) allows for longitudinal analysis of processes such as professionalization, institutionalization, densification of rule and enlightenment, which had an impact on the development of military medicine and expanded in a systematic, institutional, and scientific way. Chapters that tackle questions on synergistic effects of a macro- and micromanagement within empires, even in a colonial or imperial discourse, are welcome. Whether synergies emerge from the duality of civil and military spheres of influence could be another key question addressed by this volume.
5. Perception and knowledge management
Methods of medial, visual or material culture can enrich the perception of the military-medical complex’s administrative diversity. Chapters could deal with military medical knowledge and practices, including the process of triage, which obtained significance for troops and civil societies until today. The process of circulation and textualization of newly gained insights and experience could be investigated by considering contemporaneous narratives, literature, textbooks, or purely military sources like regulations for regiments and several types of instructions.
6. War and welfare
Finally, the entanglement of war and welfare could be highlighted by focusing on post-conflict consequences of warfare for combatants, relatives and medical personnel on their status of health. Essays within this strand might grow up from the records of governmental health care measures, and could examine the strategies for providing drugs for women and children of members of the army, medication management in general, or the nursing of invalids suffering from physical disability or mental distress.
The edited volume intends a comparative perspective on various wars and battles between 1660−1830. Both concrete case studies and theoretically based contributions are welcome, and interdisciplinary and methodically diverse approaches will be supported. Explicitly welcome are chapters dealing with South Eastern Europe and the Balkans.
Chapters can be written in English and German.
Please send an abstract incl. title (max. 500-word) and brief biography by August 31, 2021 to Sabine Jesner (firstname.lastname@example.org) and Matthew Neufeld (email@example.com).
You will be notified in September 2021. The deadline for chapters will be May 31, 2022.
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