Roundtable

Re-Examining the Medical Encounter

Organizers

Leah Astbury

University of Cambridge

Carolin Schmitz

University of Cambridge

Chair

Leah Astbury

University of Cambridge

Metadata

Session Abstract

This roundtable puts the spotlight on 'medical encounter(s)' - a framework that has been dominant in the history of medicine since Roy Porter's ground-breaking essay on 'The Patient's View' (1985). An encounter, medical historians have stressed in more recent accounts, could be much more than a two-way interaction between patient and practitioner. Families, communities and civic authorities were involved in complex ways. This panel takes stock not only of the work that this phrase has done for the field, but opens up to address its application within the history of science and technology, where the term has had a much broader use: to describe an array of intellectual, cultural and tangible exchanges in which patients and practitioners are no longer central actors. This session asks what are the limits of this terminology, how much it implies reciprocity and what is its heuristic potential. This overdue and timely re-examination of 'medical encounters' brings together a panel of specialists, to explore the ways the histories of medicine, science and technology might inform each other.
Invited participants are Dr Carolin Schmitz (early modern Spain), Dr Sasha Turner (colonial Jamaica), Dr Elaine Leong (early modern England), Professor Philip Rieder (early modern Geneva), and Dr Marta Hanson (late Imperial China). Each will speak briefly (c. 8 mins) to open, offering a view from their field and the direction of research in the future. The audience will then be encouraged to join the discussion, offering additional perspectives. Dr Leah Astbury will moderate.

Presenter 1

Carolin Schmitz

University of Cambridge

Presenter 2

Sasha Turner

Johns Hopkins University

Presenter 3

Elaine Leong

University College London

Presenter 4

Philip Rieder

University of Geneva

Presenter 5

Marta Hanson

Johns Hopkins University