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Every year the Center for the History of Medicine and Public Health hosts a public lecture series sponsored in part by the NYAM Section on the History of Medicine and Public Health. Events are free and open to the public, and lectures begin at 6:00 p.m., with refreshments available at 5:30 p.m. Advance registration for section events is requested but not required.
For further information about medical history programs at NYAM, please call Associate Director Paul Theerman at 212-822-7350 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
UPCOMING EVENTS IN THE HISTORY OF MEDICINE SERIES
It’s commonly said that “you are what you eat.” These days, we tend to mean that if you consume the right foods, containing the right nutrients, you’ll tend to be healthy and live long. But some centuries ago, other sensibilities were available that helped define the nature and causes of human character, individual and collective. In his talk, Harvard historian Dr. Steven Shapin discusses one of the more familiar examples of this analogical and causal mode of reasoning in the period from the 16th to the 18th centuries—why beef-eating made the English who they were.
In this talk, Vivian Nutton will compare Andreas Vesalius’ annotations for revisions of two works: his 1538 reworking of Johann Guenther’s Institutiones anatomice (Principles of Anatomy according to Galen) and the annotated copy of the 1555 edition of the Fabrica. The annotations reveal much that is new about the great Renaissance anatomist and show that he was constantly thinking about how to understand and interpret the human body.
Comparable in importance to Copernicus's De Revolutionibus Orbium Coelestium (1543), William Harvey's Exercitatio Anatomica de Motu Cordis et Sanguinis in Animalibus (1628) revolutionized human anatomy. This talk by Dr. Nick Wilding will explore the movement and reception of Harvey's theory across Europe, paying special attention to the evidence from the marginalia by Marc'Aurelio Severino in Dr. John Loeb's presentation copy.
How do plants become pharmaceuticals? In this talk, Abena Dove Osseo-Asare examine the history of efforts to patent a treatment for malaria made from the bitter roots of fever vine (Cryptolepis sanguinolenta). The talk is drawn from her book, Bitter Roots: The Search for Healing Plants in Africa.
Florence Nightingale is undoubtedly the most famous of all British nurses. But on the other side of the Atlantic stands Linda Richards, as influential although perhaps less well-known than her illustrious mentor. In this talk Natasha McEnroe of the Florence Nightingale Museum will examine both the connections and the differences between the two women, who together laid the foundations of modern nursing across the world.
In his famous Quintet of Modern Diseases, Hayatizade Mustafa Feyzi, the Chief Physician to Ottoman Sultan Mehmed IV (r. 1648–1687), claimed that by far the most prevalent disease in Istanbul was hypochondria. He believed that it was a distinctly modern disease that afflicted mostly intellectuals. This talk by historian B. Harun Küçük of the University of Pennsylvania will piece together the cultural history of hypochondria in Istanbul and its immediate surroundings, using Ottoman and European medical and travel literature.
Frederick Douglass Opie, author of Zora Neale Hurston on Florida Food: Recipes, Remedies and Simple Pleasures, will speak on Zora Neale Hurston’s work on food-based prescriptions for illnesses. Hurston's writings reveal an interest in natural prescriptions for the health challenges suffered by camp workers and plantation laborers. She also talks a great deal about natural remedies for poisoning. She incorporated what she learned about poisoning and natural remedies into her novel Their Eyes Were Watching God and other writings.
In the days before modern transport, preservation, and production technology, all chickens were local and free-range, and it was difficult to escape the constraints imposed by distance and the seasons. Difficult, but not impossible, as elite dining was defined by the challenge in obtaining ingredients, from hothouse peaches in the north in winter, to ice cream in Syria in the summer. In this talk, historian Dr. Paul Freedman of Yale University focuses on dining through the seasons.
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