CfP: Locating Medical Television, London 2020

Locating Medical Television. The Televisual Spaces of Medicine and Health in the 20th Century
18-20 March 2020, Science Museum Dana Research Centre, London, UK

Medical television programmes, across their history, have had specific relationships to places and spaces:

On the one level, they have represented medical and health places: consulting rooms, hospitals, the home, community spaces, public health infrastructures and the rest. As television-producers have represented these places, there has been an interaction with the developing capabilities of television technologies and grammars. Moreover, producers have borrowed their imaginaries of medical and health places from other media (film, photographs, museum displays etc.) and integrated, adjusted and reformulated them into their work. But medical television has also worked spatially in the political sense of being broadcast internationally, at the national level, and locally, interacting with differing regimes and polities. It may include regional and local broadcast as well as straddling public-private divides, including pay television, advertisement and audience measurement. At both levels, medical television has served to represent familiar and unfamiliar locations and medical modes back to patients and medical or health practitioners.  

Following Broadcasting health and disease organised with Wellcome Collection in 2017 and Tele(visualing) Health organised with London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine in 2018, this third conference on medical television in the framework of the ERC funded BodyCapital project and in a joint venture with the Science Museum London intends to locate medical television more precisely – it intends to engage (medical) TV history with recent questions concerning the relevance of space within and beyond national borders.

With comparative approaches, or under consideration of (sometimes contradictory) local, national and global developments, the conference intends to address the following themes:
  •      Locating medical television within global, national or local markets, politics and polities. 
  •      Locating medical television as a means of new globally influenced medical communication in the public sphere from publicizing medical breakthroughs and frontier research to disseminating public health messages
  •      How television has represented medical location, and how that has depended on available technology and technique.
  •      Locating medical television within health communication and mediation including fairs, museums and collection displays.
  •      Comparisons with and transitions to other medical media, including exhibitions and displays, and film.
Papers might focus on one national, regional or even local framework. Considering the history of health-related (audio-) visuals as a history of transfers or entanglements comparative perspectives are more than welcome. The organizers welcome contributions with a strong historical impetus from all social and cultural sciences.

The conference will be held on 18- 20 March 2020 at the Science Museum London, Dana Research Centre.

Please send proposals (a short CV and an abstract or outline of 500 words) by 1 December 2019.

Limited travel grants are available, upon application and in accordance to need.
The conference is organized by the ERC funded research group BodyCapital and by the Science Museum London.

The healthy self as body capital: individuals, market-based societies and body politics in visual twentieth century Europe (BodyCapital) project is directed by Christian Bonah at the Université de Strasbourg and Anja Laukötter at the Max Planck Institute for Human Development, Berlin. The project is funded by the European Research Council (ERC) under the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme (Advanced Grant agreement No 694817).

The scientific committee includes:
Christian Bonah (Université de Strasbourg)
Anja Laukötter (Max-Planck-Institute for Human Development, Berlin)
Tricia Close-Koenig (Université de Strasbourg)
Tim Boon (Science Museum, London)
Angela Saward (Wellcome Collection, London)
Alex Mold (London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine)
Virginia Berridge (London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine)