Category: Exhibits and Events

Register now for Normalizing Sex Research and Education in America: Robert Latou Dickinson in Perspective (5/23)

By , May 14, 2019

Upcoming event!

Normalizing Sex Research and Education in America: Robert Latou Dickinson in Perspective

Registration is required

Physician Robert Latou Dickinson (1861–1950) resists categorization. He was a long-time obstetrician and gynecologist; a research scientist invested in sexual health who influenced Alfred Kinsey and notions of sexuality; a birth control and reproductive sterilization advocate; an anatomist who authored an influential atlas of reproductive anatomy/ an artist who illustrated his own scientific texts; and a public health educator whose popular sculptures and models changed the way the public visualized the birth process. “Normalizing Sex Research and Education in America: Robert Latou Dickinson in Perspective” will explore different aspects of Dickinson’s long career, addressing his work in reproductive health and family planning, his time spent as a sex educator and artist at the New York Academy of Medicine, his Birth Series models created for the 1939 World’s Fair, and his depictions of human anatomy and concepts of normalization through his models Norma and Normman. Dickinson’s legacy is still with us today, and his personal papers and models remain some of the Center for the History of Medicine’s most-used collections. With the help of these four scholars, we hope to better understand the impact and legacy that Robert Latou Dickinson continues to exert on our current health science and clinical care community.

An exhibition also entitled Normalizing Sex Research and Education in America: Robert Latou Dickinson in Perspective will be on display for the event (L1 of the Countway Library of Medicine).

Robert Latou Dickinson

Robert Latou Dickinson (1861–1950), 1913. From the Robert Latou Dickinson papers, 1881-1972 (inclusive), 1926-1951 (bulk) (B MS c72) in the Boston Medical Library, Francis A. Countway Library of Medicine

 

Speakers

Sarah B. Rodriguez, Ph.D., Senior Lecturer, Global Health Studies, Weinberg College of Arts & Sciences; Lecturer, Medical Education, Feinberg School of Medicine; Faculty, Medical Humanities & Bioethics Graduate Program, all at Northwestern University, Robert Latou Dickinson: Pioneering Researcher.

A founding father of sex research in the United States, a prominent physician who used his position to advocate for access to birth control, and a distinguished clinician: Robert Latou Dickinson, with his deep interest in women’s health, took on all of these roles. In this presentation, Rodriguez will discuss these three roles – sex researcher, birth control advocate, and clinician – of this historically understudied physician, focusing on his pioneering research regarding female sexuality.

Anne Garner, MLS, Curator, Rare Books and Manuscripts Library, The New York Academy of Medicine Library, From the stacks to the studio:  Robert Latou Dickinson’s Academy of Medicine.

Robert Latou Dickinson’s relationship with the New York Academy of Medicine was a critical part of both his professional and creative identity. In 1891, Dickinson became a Fellow of the organization and served on numerous committees, including as Chairman of the Academy’s art committee from 1935-1940.  At the Academy Dickinson was given a dedicated studio space, where he worked on the Birth Series and other three-dimensional anatomical models. While de facto artist-in-residence, Dickinson also engaged Alfred Kinsey to lobby the Academy to open a sex education library. This talk will explore Dickinson’s role as influencer and occasional disrupter within the Academy, as he advocated for sex education and for greater access to medical information for public audiences.

Rosemarie Holz, Ph.D., Associate Professor of Practice, Associate Director, Women’s and Gender Studies, University of Nebraska-Lincoln, “So that which has been lost is now found!” Exploring the magic of the 1939 Dickinson-Belskie Birth Series Sculptures.”

In this presentation Holz will discuss the creation and dissemination of the hugely influential yet surprisingly overlooked 1939 Dickinson-Belskie Birth Series sculptures, which illustrate the process of human development from fertilization through delivery. First displayed at the 1939-1940 World’s Fair in New York City, they were reproduced in a variety of forms and sent out across the United States and overseas, giving rise to modern views of pregnancy decades before Lennart Nilsson’s much-heralded in utero photographs in Life magazine in the 1960s. Despite their enormous popularity, by the 1970s and ‘80s the Birth Series began to disappear from public knowledge, eclipsed by new technologies, such as ultrasound, that offered modern ways to view in utero development. Holz will conclude her presentation by describing the Birth Series’ surprising re-birth since their 2014 recovery from the dusty storage collection of the University of Nebraska State Museum, a re-birth that is prompting renewed fascination with these evocative forms and new conversations.

Anna Creadick, Ph.D., Professor of English and American Studies, Hobart and William Smith Colleges, Model bodies, normal curves: Norm and Norma in Postwar America.

In the early 1940s, with their Birth Series models completed, sexologist Robert L. Dickinson and his sculptor-collaborator Abram Belskie created two anthropometric sculptures representing the “average” American male and female bodies. Dickinson named them “Normman and Norma.” Dickinson’s effort to model the “normal” body was indicative of a broader obsession taking hold in midcentury America, as doctors, psychiatrists, physical anthropologists, and scientists began to isolate the normal as a subject, to try and define normality with increasing precision.  In 1945, Dickinson donated the “Norm and Norma” statues along with his Birth Series and other medical models to the Cleveland Health Museum, where they might have just gathered dust. But instead, Norm and Norma began a decade-long tour of the postwar public sphere, appearing in newspaper articles, popular science magazines, television shows, and even a look-alike contest. This presentation tells the story of the wartime production and postwar reception of these models, whose “normal” curves helped to promote a powerful organizing category of postwar culture

Collection link: https://collections.countway.harvard.edu/onview/collections/show/132

 

 

May 16: Measures of Power? Gender, Phrenology and 19th Century Cultures of Medicine

By , May 6, 2019

Measures of Power? Gender, Phrenology and 19th Century Cultures of Medicine

Join us for the 2019 Fellow’s Lecture with Carla Bittel, PhD, Associate Professor of History at Loyola Marymount University

Illustrated diagram of the phrenological faculties from How to Read Character by Samuel Roberts Wells, 1890.

Phrenology, considered a “science of the mind” in the nineteenth century, purported to measure the “power” of human mental faculties. This talk will examine the role of gender in the making of those measurements, and demonstrate how middle-class women—as practitioners and consumers—merged phrenology with multiple forms of medical and domestic knowledge.

May 16, 2019
4:00 – 4:30pm – Reception / Meet and Greet
4:30 – 5:30pm – Welcome and Lecture
5:30 – 6:00pm – Reception Continues

Minot Room, fifth floor
Countway Library of Medicine
Harvard Medical School
10 Shattuck Street, Boston MA 02115

Free and open to the public, registration is required. Register online now through Eventbrite.

Sponsored by the Women in Medicine Legacy Foundation, in partnership with the Center for the History of Medicine, Countway Library.

About Carla Bittel, PhD

Carla Bittel, Ph.D.

Carla Bittel is Associate Professor of History at Loyola Marymount University in Los Angeles. She is a historian of nineteenth-century America, specializing in the history of medicine, science, and technology.

Her research focuses on gender issues and she has written on the history of women’s health, women physicians, and the role of science in medicine.

Bittel is the author of Mary Putnam Jacobi and the Politics of Medicine in Nineteenth-Century America, published with the University of North Carolina Press in 2009. She has published in the journals Centaurus and Bulletin of the History of Medicine, and contributed to the edited volume, Women Physicians and the Cultures of Medicine.

Her research has been supported by several grants, including a Scholar’s Award from the National Science Foundation. She is also a co-organizer of the Working Group, “Working with Paper: Gendered Practices in the History of Knowledge,” at the Max Planck Institute for the History of Science in Berlin.

Sign up for a Spring Tour!

By , April 5, 2019

Join us for one of the many tours the Center is offering this spring. Tours are free and open to the public, but registration is required.

Leder, Philip, “Codons notebooks,” OnView: Digital Collections & Exhibits, accessed April 5, 2019, http://collections.countway. harvard.edu/onview/items/show/13021.

Highlights from Center for the History of Medicine Collections
The Center for the History of Medicine in the Countway Library is a hub of activity for the history of medicine and society in Boston’s Longwood Medical Area. Located on L2 of the Countway Library, the Center is home to over 2,790 manuscript collections and institutional records series, 1,256 gigabytes of migrated born digital records, 177,676 rare books and journals, and 15,768 Warren Anatomical Museum objects (including artifacts, anatomical, osteological and fluid preparations). Join Jessica Murphy, the Center’s Public Services Librarian, for an introduction to selections that are not only unique to Harvard, but inform and deepen our understanding of contemporary medicine. Register.

Public Health and Harvard: Selections from Center for the History of Medicine Collections
Join Heather Mumford, Archivist for the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, for an introduction to manuscript and archival collections that illustrate the rich and innovative history of the Chan School of Public Health. Selections from the Center’s historical collections will be on display as part of the tour. Register.

Diversity, Inclusion, and the Medical School Archives
Join Joan Ilacqua, Center for the History of Medicine’s Archivist for Diversity and Inclusion, for a history of those underrepresented in medicine at Harvard through the manuscript and archival collections held by the Countway Library. The tour will include a discussion of current collecting initiatives and a display of selections from the Center’s rich historical collections. Register.

Curator’s Tour of the Warren Anatomical Museum
The Warren Anatomical Museum is one of the last surviving anatomy and pathology museum collections in the United States. In 1847, Harvard anatomist and surgeon John Collins Warren founded the Museum to preserve and classify specimens and models needed for teaching. Until 1999, the Museum was in the Department of Anatomy and Cell Biology. It is now an integral part of the Countway Library’s Center for the History of Medicine.

Join Museum Curator Dominic Hall for a guided tour of the Museum holdings on exhibit in the Countway Library, including the skull, life cast, and tamping iron of Phineas Gage. Register.

Register Now! Human Tissue Ethics in Anatomy, Past and Present: From Bodies to Tissues to Data

By , March 6, 2019

9:00am-3:00pm, Thursday, April 4, 2019
Waterhouse Room, Gordon Hall, Harvard Medical School Campus

Co-sponsored by the Ackerman Program on Medicine and Culture, Harvard University; the Center for the History of Medicine in the Francis A. Countway Library; the Department of Global Health and Social Medicine, Harvard Medical School; and the Department of Pediatrics, Boston Children’s Hospital

NIH Technicians (ID 2263)

Technicians examining plates and tissue culture flasks at a laminar flow hood, 1986. Courtesy National Cancer Institute, National Institutes of Health (ID 2263).

Anatomy as a science and as an educational discipline in the medical curriculum is forever in transition. One of the greatest areas of change in recent decades has been the systematic evaluation of ethical questions in anatomy. At the center of these deliberations is the status of the dead human body, which is no longer only seen as a mere “object” or “material” of research or as an educational “tool.” Rather, it is described as a body that still has connections with the person who once inhabited it, thus becoming part of a social network of knowledge gain and requiring respectful treatment.

This change of perspective will be explored in the symposium, “Human Tissue Ethics in Anatomy, Past and Present: From Bodies to Tissues to Data.” An international group of scholars will discuss the ethical aspects of existing questions, explore the relevance of non-profit and for-profit body donation, and examine newly emerging technologies in anatomy that may need innovative ethical approaches. The aim of this symposium is to present evidence for the insight that transparent and ethical anatomical body and tissue procurement is indeed at the core of medical ethics in research and education.

Registration is required. Register here.


PROGRAM

9:00-10:30am
Panel 1: Human Tissue Ethics in Historical Contexts of Anatomy:
Scott H. Podolsky, Harvard Medical School, Chair

  • Dominic Hall, Harvard Medical School: The Second Life of Specimens: Scientific and Historical Research in the Warren Anatomical Museum
  • Sabine Hildebrandt, Harvard Medical School/Boston Children’s Hospital: Dealing with Legacies of Nazi Anatomy: the ‘Vienna Protocol’
  • Tinne Claes, Katholieke Universiteit: Why Is It So Difficult to Throw Away Fetuses? Anatomical Collections and the Meanings of Disposal

10:30-11:00am
Break

11:00-12:30pm
Panel 2: Human Tissue Ethics in Current Anatomical Education and Research:
Dan Wikler, Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, Chair

  • Thomas Champney, University of Miami: The Business of Bodies: Human Tissue Ethics and Commercialization
  • Michel Anteby, Boston University: Nested Moralities: From National to Intimate Cadaver Trades
  • Glenn Cohen, Harvard Law School/Petrie-Flom Center: The Law and Ethics of Tissue Ownership

12:30-1:30pm
Lunch (provided)

1:30-3:00pm
Panel 3: Human Tissue Ethics from Physical Specimens to Data:
David S. Jones, Harvard University, Chair

  • Maria Olejaz Tellerup, University of Copenhagen: The Anatomy of Bioavailability: Exploring Body Donation in Denmark Then, Now and in the Future
  • Jon Cornwall, University of Otago: The Impact of Digital Technology on Body Donation

Image: Technicians examining plates and tissue culture flasks at a laminar flow hood, 1986. National Cancer Institute, National Institutes of Health (ID 2263, 1986).

Related LibGuide: Searching the Warren Anatomical Museum collection by Dominic Hall


        

 

Register now for the 2019 Estes Lecture with speaker Jeremy A. Greene

By , March 1, 2019

The Center for the History of Medicine, Francis A. Countway Library of Medicine, is pleased to share information about the 15th Annual J. Worth Estes Lecture.

To RSVP, please email the Boston Medical Library or contact Tara Peeler at 617-432-4807.

2019 Estes Lecture Poster

 

Black History Month: Celebrating Leaders and Innovators

By , February 12, 2019

This February, the Countway Library is celebrating Black History Month with a series of events, lectures, and exhibits. A full calendar of events is available.

As part of Longwood Black History Month, and with the support of the Archivist for Diversity and Inclusion, Joan Ilacqua, and Master of Bioethics student Keona J. Wynne, organized a series of Black History Month profiles highlighting the achievements of black leaders and innovators in medicine and the medicine sciences.

Each profile was written by students from Harvard Medical School’s masters programs, and will be on display at the Countway Library and across campus. Profiles include:

The entire set is available for download as a .pdf file.

Our thanks to Keona Wynne, Marie-Angele Messou, Kela Roberts, Jonnell Small, and Allura Landsberg for participating!

#ColorOurCollections 2019

By , January 31, 2019

 

From February 4th through 8th, cultural institutions from around the world are sharing coloring pages on social media with the hashtag #ColorOurCollections.

This year, our coloring book includes new and favorite images, anatomical drawings and prints, medical teaching resources, biodiversity, bookplates, and more!

We’re sharing our coloring pages here and on Twitter and Instagram (@HarvardHistMed).

Click here to download our entire 2019 coloring book.

Be sure to share your work using the hashtag #ColorOurCollections and we’ll retweet our favorites!

Continue reading '#ColorOurCollections 2019'»

Speakers Announced for 2018 Colloquium on the History of Psychiatry and Medicine

By , October 11, 2018

The Department of Postgraduate and Continuing Education, McLean Hospital and
the Center for the History of Medicine, Francis A. Countway Library of Medicine
are pleased to present

The 2018 COLLOQUIUM ON THE HISTORY OF PSYCHIATRY AND MEDICINE
David G. Satin, M.D., DLFAPA Director

Open to students of history and those valuing a historical perspective on their professions.

All presentations are from
4:00 P.M.—5:30 P.M.
In the Lahey Room, fifth floor, Countway Library of Medicine

October 18
Emotionally Disturbed: The Care and Abandonment of America’s Troubled Children in the Twentieth Century, Deborah Doroshow, M.D., Ph.D., Clinical Fellow in Medical Oncology and Academic Affiliate in the History of Medicine, Yale University

November 8
History of the Boston University School of Medicine: A Journey for Social Justice, Douglas H. Hughes, M.D., Associate Dean for Academic Affairs, and Ramsey Professor of Medicine and Professor of Psychiatry, Boston University School of Medicine

December 20
Psychiatry in Revolution: Cuba 1959-1970, Jennifer Lambe, Ph.D., Assistant Professor, Department of History, Brown University

Registration is not required.

For further information contact David G. Satin, M.D., Colloquium Director, phone/fax 617-332-0032
e-mail: david_satin@hms.harvard.edu

Register Now! Constructing Livable Lives: A Celebration of the Archiving of the Leston Havens Teaching Website

By , October 11, 2018

Join the Center for the History of Medicine in celebrating the archiving of “Constructing Livable Lives,” a free and active teaching website that brings together for the first time the teaching lectures, books, papers, videos, and audio recordings of American psychiatrist, psychotherapist, and prolific author Leston Laycock Havens, MD (1924-2011), Professor Emeritus, Harvard University. Speakers will address the impact of Dr. Havens’ work on medical education and psychiatry, as well as illustrate Dr. Havens’ commitment to using the history of psychiatry to inform contemporary practice.

Leston Laycock Havens, MD (1924-2011)

Leston Laycock Havens, MD (1924-2011)

Program

4:00-4:30
Refreshments and light fare

4:30-4:40
Opening remarks, Dr. Scott H. Podolsky, Professor of Global Health and Social Medicine, Harvard Medical School; Director, Center for the History of Medicine, Francis A. Countway Library of Medicine

4:40-5:00
“What Leston Havens Taught Me About the History of Psychiatry,” Dr. Edward Hundert, Dean for Medical Education and the Daniel D. Federman, M.D. Professor in Residence of Global Health and Social Medicine and Medical Education at Harvard Medical School

5:00-5:20
“Havens’ Gifts to Psychiatry and Psychotherapy,” Dr. Alex Sabo, Psychiatrist, Berkshire Medical Center; co-author, The Real World Guide to Psychotherapy Practice

5:20-5:35
“Building the Leston Havens M.D. Teaching Site,” Dr. Susan Miller-Havens

5:35-5:45
“Exploring the Archived Website: Where to Go and What You’ll Find,” Emily R. Novak Gustainis, MLS, Deputy Director, Center for the History of Medicine, Francis A. Countway Library of Medicine

5:45-6:00
Q&A with Dr. Hundert and Dr. Sabo

 

Registration is required. Visit https://libcal.library.harvard.edu/event/4705514 to register.

 

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