Birkbeck Medical Humanities Reading Group – 7 December 2017

The Birkbeck Medical Humanities Reading Group meets on 7th December to consider the topic of non-conception. The meeting is preceded by a guided tour of the Conceiving Histories exhibition for those that can make it. Full details of the prior reading are below.

On Non-Conception

The Reading Group will meet on 7th December 3-4.30, Room 321, 43 Gordon Square, London. WC1H 0PD.

Led by Dr Isabel Davis

This session of the Reading Group coincides with the  Conceiving Histories Exhibition in the Peltz Gallery, 8th November-13th December. Members attending the group might like to visit the exhibtion before the Reading Group meets. A guided tour will be starting at 2pm on 7th December if you would like to join. Meet in the gallery. No need to book.

Prior reading:
Is available by following the links below. To print it out you need to download the whole file and then select the correct page numbers on your print options.

  • William Harvey, On Conception. This is added on to On Generation. You can read an English translation in The Works of William Harvey, trans. R. Willis (London: Sydenham Society, 1847), pp. 575-86. Link:
  • Robert Lyall, The medical evidence relative to the duration of human pregnancy, as given in the Gardner peerage cause, before the Committee for Privileges of the House of lords in 1825-26 (London: Burgess and Hill, 1826), footnote plan for the Experimental Conception Hospital. The whole book is interesting, but the footnote in question is on page xvii. Link:

Everyone is welcome. There is no need to book.

The Birkbeck Medical Humanities Reading Group aims to create a space in which academics, clinicians and students can come together to explore key readings, ideas and materials in the field of medical humanities. Our endeavour is to find ways of talking across the different disciplines of the humanities and medicine, and we welcome participation from colleagues and students interested and engaged in these areas.

For details of previous sessions, please click here.

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Medical Humanities Reading Group 23 November 17 and digest of other events

23rd November 3-4.30 in Room B02, 43 Gordon Square, London.
For more information about travelling to Birkbeck School of Arts, click here.

Prior reading for Skin II:

Roger Willoughby, ‘Between the Basic Fault and Second Skin’, International Journal of Psychoanalysis 85 (2004): 179-96.

Claudia Benthien, Skin: On the Cultural Border between the Self and the World (New York: Columbia University Press, 2002). Chapter 2.

Reading is available as pdfs, please email  me (Isabel Davis – to request a dropbox link.

Other events at Birkbeck:

The Reading Group will meet for the last session of term on 7th December 3-4.30pm (room 321, 43 Gordon Square). The topic will be non-conception and the reading will be made available shortly.

Before the reading group there will be a free tour of the Conceiving Histories Exhibition (meet on 7th December in the Peltz gallery at 2pm, 43 Gordon Square).

The Conceiving Histories exhibition is free and on at the Peltz Gallery until 13th December.

Conference. 29th-30th November: Putting theory into practice: exploring the role of practice-based medical humanities. This is a free event but you must book a place.

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