Bodies, Technologies, Objects
A Medical Humanities Laboratory workshop at the University of Manchester
Tuesday, 6 September 2016, Whitworth Art Gallery
10:30 am – 4:30 pm
Hand sanitizer dispensers, medicine bottles, surgical knives, bionic eyes: from the mundane and simple to the rarified and high-tech, objects mediate and condition our encounters with medicine, health and illness. How, this workshop asks, can those working in medical humanities engage productively with objects to gain insights into medical care and health experience? What can objects show or tell us that texts do not?
This workshop brings together scholars, artists, and museum professionals to address these questions. In three themed sessions combining presentation and discussion, we intend to explore the analytical, creative, and pedagogical possibilities that a focus on objects offers us.
10:00 am – 10:30 am: Coffee and registration
10:30 am – 10:45 am: Welcome
10:45 am – 11:30 am: Session One:
Patients and the medical museum
We begin with Dr Sam Alberti (Keeper of Science & Technology, National Museums Scotland), who discusses how curators are interrogating what medical collections can tell us about the lives and experiences of those treated and other users of medical technologies.
11:30 am – 11:45 am: Coffee break
11:45 am – 1:15 pm: Session Two:
Artists encounter and engage medical objects and technologies
This session features two artists discussing their recent work:
Geoffrey Harrison (London) has been Artist in Residence at Barts Pathology Museum, St. Bartholomew’s Hospital and recently completed a Leverhulme residency at The Royal Veterinary College. His anatomically-inspired artwork owes something to his childhood as the son of medical illustrators, but also incorporates an interest in aesthetics, theoretical bodily processes and anatomies that appear broken, but are somehow remade, whole.
Painter Lucy Burscough (Manchester) is currently working with Ocular Bionica (@OcularBionica). This project, a collaboration with Manchester Vision Regeneration Lab and the Manchester Royal Eye Hospital, explores the cutting edge sight technologies that hint at a future of biomedical bionics and the hacking of humanity.
1:15 pm – 2:15 pm: Lunch
2:15 pm – 3:45 pm: Session Three:
Teaching with, through and about medical objects
Dr Kostas Arvanitis (ICP, Manchester) and Stephanie Seville (Museum of Medicine and Health, Manchester) discuss how museology students have worked with objects and staff from the University’s collections. This project, which included pop-up exhibitions, intended to develop practical skills while testing theoretical understanding.
Medical historian Dr Harriet Palfreyman (CHSTM, Manchester) discusses her work with the Time Travelling Operating Theatre, an engagement project using historical re-enactment and medical simulation to create conversations amongst clinicians, historians, and the public about the past, present, and future of surgery.
3:45 pm – 4:30 pm: Collective closing discussion
The event is FREE (lunch and tea breaks included).
All welcome, but please register here.
For more information, contact Marion Endt-Jones at marion.endt[at]manchester.ac.uk.