09 June 2011

My forthcoming lecture: How Physicians Became Neurologists: The Case of Britain, 1800-2000

When: Wednesday, June 15, 2011, 4pm
Where: Health Sciences Center - Room G500, University of Calgary, Foothills Campus, 3330 Hospital Drive NW, Calgary, AB T2N 4N1

This presentation describes the specialization of British neurology. British neurology emerged in a medical culture philosophically generalist in its values for medical practice. For this reason, British physicians in the nineteenth and early twentieth century were largely opposed to medical specialization. Rather than contravening their culture’s standards, British neurologists embraced “generalism” by claiming that their specialist knowledge not only conformed to this culture but was its highest manifestation. These claims had advantages, but the result was a conflict in the idioms of medical practice. On one hand, neurologists produced and reproduced habits and dispositions that articulated and even underscored their specialty’s differences with medicine. On the other hand, they argued that they were general physicians possessing broad knowledge and sound judgment for the whole of medicine. Neurology, thus conceived in Britain, became at once the most elite of generalist medicine’s many practices. At the same time, neurology was one of its most marginal specialties.

This special seminar is co-sponsored by the Dept of Clinical Neurosciences, the History of Neuroscience Interest Group, the History Department, the Department of Psychology and the History and Philosophy of Science Program.

There is a parking lot directly in front of the Heritage Medical Building and the Health Sciences Center (Lot 6) (1 min. walk to the Lecture Room). For directions to Lecture Room G500, please contact Beth Cusitar in the History of Medicine and Health Care Program (Email: bcusitar@ucalgary.ca or phone 403-210-9640).

Interested colleagues and students, who would like to meet Dr. Stephen Casper while he visits the University of Calgary, should get in contact with Dr. Frank W. Stahnisch (fwstahni@ucalgary.ca) in the Dept of Community Health Sciences and he will arrange for meeting times with the visiting guest speaker.
All are welcome!

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