20 February 2011

Medical History

A new volume of Medical History appears and with a seemingly new mission:

This issue also signals changes in the intellectual aspirations of Medical History. Its articles, addressing the themes of transnational communication, health promotion, forensic medicine, socialism and psychology, and critique of globalisation and visual culture, suggest the wider range of subjects, discourses, and approaches we wish to encourage. While articles across time on the history of disease, institutions, and the professions involved with health and healing are still very much to be welcomed, we particularly invite those that move on historiographically as much as empirically. Indeed, we invite those that through solid historical research contribute to the better understanding of the world in which we now live and of which history writing itself must be regarded as constituent – perhaps rather more self-consciously than in the past. New ‘manifestos for history’ have been written, and we invite those who focus on health, healing, and the body to engage with them robustly, challenging and extending them. At a moment when the discipline of history and the humanities in general are under threat from forces both economic and intellectual, it is time to up the value of history as a resource in public thinking. In our biologised world, historians of medicine have the privileged expertise to do so. We invite contributors to take full advantage of it.

I especially enjoyed this article on the transnationalism of psychiaty (and "yes!" that's an immodest plug for my own work).

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