Shannon Lectures 2016 – Critical Care: Treatment of Body and Mind in Social and Cultural History

rush-medical-college-yearbookThe Shannon Lectures in History is a series of thematically linked public lectures offered annually at Carleton University made possible through the Shannon Donation, a major anonymous gift from a friend of the Department of History. In recent years, renowned Canadian and international scholars have explored animals and history, food and drink in history, the history of emotions, and how storytelling and history intersect.

The Shannon Lecture Series for 2016 examines the social, intellectual and cultural history of health, sickness, disease and medicine. The lectures will consider cultural perceptions of the body, health and illness and will tease out the shifting patterns of treatment.

About this year’s series:

Co-convenors: Christine Chisholm and Susanne M. Klausen

The History Department’s Shannon Lecture Series for 2016, commencing September 30, examines the social, intellectual and cultural history of health, sickness, disease and medicine. The lectures will consider cultural perceptions of the body, health and illness and will tease out some of the shifting patterns of treatment over the past three hundred years. It is the first lecture series at Carleton University to foreground medical history, reflecting a renewed academic interest in health issues that are currently being pursued in different departments.

Medical history is a complex, multi-faceted field of historical inquiry that touches on almost every other aspect of historical study, including politics, religion, science, gender, race and culture. Scholars in this field are captivated by the many ways it can provide glimpses into the mindsets of people in the past, and by the relevance of past concepts of disease and medicine to current heath care challenges. While one lecture series is unable to capture all the intriguing aspects of this historical field, we are thrilled to welcome four scholars who will draw attention to a diverse spectrum of topics, including mental health, disability, First Nations’ experience in the healthcare system, and even death. This public lecture series is made possible by the Shannon Fund, an endowment created by an anonymous friend of the Department of History.


Friday, September 30, 2016

“Trials of Madness: Civil Law and Lunacy in a Trans-Atlantic World During the 18th and 19th Centuries”

Dr. James Moran (Department of History, University of Prince Edward Island)

Special Reception Event: During the reception guests will have the opportunity to explore the Remedies, Elixirs, and Medical Men exhibit from the Pinhey’s Point Foundation, which explores health care in nineteenth-century March Township and Bytown, drawing on documentation and artifacts from Ottawa’s Pinhey family and their circle. The Hon. Hamnett Pinhey apprenticed in London with a surgeon, and though he never practised the profession he brought a ship apothecary kit and numerous medical books with him to Canada in 1820 and assisted neighbours with medical problems on the frontier in the absence of physicians.  The exhibit also surveys the lives of Dr A.J. Christie of Bytown, Pinhey’s son-in-law Dr Hamnett Hill, and Christie’s grandson who had a pharmacy on Sparks Street in the 1870s and an aerated water factory on Queen.  These Ottawa personalities and a selection of Pinhey’s 18th and 19th century medical books are set in the context of changing medical knowledge over the course of the 19th century.

The exhibition will be housed in Carleton University’s Department of History, 4th floor Paterson Hall, from September through December 2016.


Friday, October 14, 2016

“Escaping Judgement/Embracing Judgement: Disability, Protection and Liberty in Twentieth Century Ontario”

Dr. Melanie Panitch (School of Disability Studies, Ryerson University)

Co-sponsored by the Disability Studies Program, Institute of Interdisciplinary Studies

Special Reception Event: During the reception of the October 14th lecture, Carleton University’s Disability Research Group will launch Envisioning Technologies, an accessible exhibit dedicated to the history of educational technologies for people who are blind or partially sighted in Canada from 1820-present.


Friday, November 18, 2016
“Medicare and Medicine Chests:  Indian Hospitals and the Construction of National Health in Postwar Canada”

Dr. Maureen Lux (Department of History, Brock University)

Co-sponsored by the Department of Health Sciences


Friday, December 2, 2016

“A Cultural History of Caring for the Dead Body”

Dr. Thomas Laqueur (Department of History, UC Berkeley)


The lecture will take place in the Multi-Media Lab, Discovery Centre (482), 4th floor MacOdrum Library starting at 2:30pm, followed by a reception in the History Lounge (433PA) at 4pm.

The Shannon series was announced on the blog Historiens de la santé yesterday.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s