Retelling familiar tales of pregnancy and birth in European cultures

Конференция «Передача распространенных историй о беременности и родах в культурах Европы» пройдет в Оксфорде 3-4 июля 2012 г. Хронологически мероприятие охватывает, в том числе, античность. На доклады выделяется 20 минут. Заявки (тезисы — 400 слов) принимаются до 3 апреля 2012 г. Язык конференции — английский.

Полный текст сообщения:



Purpose of conference
This conference aims to bring together leading specialists from a range of the medical humanities with healthcare professionals to explore the trope of the retelling of stories about pregnancy and birth. While recent work has considered the way in which stories of exceptional pregnancies and unusual births have been told again and again over western history, from Greek mythology and the Old Testament until the present day, the methodological and intellectual questions raised by these retellings have not been discussed in detail. Taking a very broad geographic and chronological focus (Europe from Antiquity to the present day), our objective is to encourage innovative interdisciplinary exchanges by addressing the following questions. How did the growth of print culture in Europe encourage the retelling of familiar birthing tales, and how were new ones added? Why did some stories of pregnancy and birth circulate more widely than others? When stories are retold, which details of the original are always retained, which are lost in the retelling, and how and why do new accretions creep into the story?

The gathering particularly looks to provide the opportunity for discussion and exchange on both substance and methodology between, on the one hand, a wide range of academic disciplines contributing to the medical humanities (e.g. cultural history, art history, history of the book, literary scholars) and, on the other hand, health-care practitioners who have been increasingly focused on the oral transmission of case histories (midwives, obstetricians and gynaecologists, psychiatrists). The four sessions proposed are thus wide-ranging and deliberately aim to juxtapose contributions from academics and practitioners in the various sessions.

1) The trope of repetition, or why some tales of pregnancy and birth are retold
2) Exploring accretion and loss: how tales are retold across time (Antiquity to the present) and across different geographic and cultural European contexts
3) Who sees or experiences, who tells and who reads repeated tales: patients, practitioners, witnesses and readers:
4) The significance of the material circulation of repeated tales in word and image
Keynote plenary session: Professor Monica Green (Arizona State University)

Practical Details
The conference sessions, including lunches and dinners, will be held in Lady Margaret Hall, a college of the University of Oxford, located in attractive grounds in the north of the city. We are looking to provide bed and breakfast accommodation in another Oxford college for the nights of 2-3-4 July 2012 for delegates who wish to take advantage of this. Alternatively, Oxford has a range of good guesthouses and hotels for those wishing to organise their own accommodation. We hope to have some bursary support available for students.

Submitting a proposal for a paper
Please email all proposals for papers to Professor Helen King ( by 3 April 2012. Papers should last for 20 minutes to allow 10 minutes discussion after each speaker. A proposal should give the title of the paper, an abstract of up to 400 words, and your contact details. Proposals for shared papers or panels are particularly welcome, as are poster presentations. The working language of the conference will be English.

All proposals will be considered by the organising panel: Professor Helen King (Open University), Dr Janette Allotey (Manchester, Chair of De Partu History of Childbirth Group, University of Manchester, and Professor Valerie Worth (Trinity College Oxford)

Helen King

Professor of Classical Studies| The Open University| Walton Hall| Milton Keynes| MK7 6AA
Module Chair, A219, 'Exploring the Classical World' (

Recently published: 'History without Historians? Medical History and the Internet', Social History of Medicine 25 (2012), 212-221 and 'Response to Shelton', Social History of Medicine 25 (February 2012), 232-238

'Inside and outside, cavities and containers: the organs of generation in seventeenth-century English medicine' in Patricia A. Baker, Han Nijdam, Karine van 't Land (eds.), Medicine and Space: Body, Surroundings and Borders in Antiquity and the Middle Ages. Visualising the Middle Ages (4). Leiden: Brill, December 2011, pp. 37–60

'Galen and the widow. Towards a history of therapeutic masturbation in ancient gynaecology', EuGeStA: Journal on Gender Studies in Antiquity 1 (December 2011), 205-235 (

Podcast of 'In Our Time' episode with Peter Pormann and Vivian Nutton, September 2011:

Podcast of 'A body of fluids? Physiology in pre-modern Western medicine', McGovern Lecture, 2011:

Источник: организаторы.


Метки: ,

Добавить комментарий