Event 1: 4-8 January 2010
Theories and Methods: Literature, Science, and Medicine (St Deiniol’s Library, Hawarden)
This five-day residential event, held at St Deiniol’s Library in Hawarden, introduced students to the issues involved in interdisciplinary study. It included a day trip to the Museum of Science and Industry (MOSI) to examine the surviving laboratory apparatus of John Dalton and to the John Rylands University Library (JRUL) Special Collections department to look at Dalton’s extant papers.
Teaching team: David Amigoni (Keele), Gowan Dawson (Leicester), John Hodgson (JRUL), James Peters (JRUL), Katy Price (Anglia Ruskin), Catherine Rushmore (MOSI), Sharon Ruston (Salford), Stephanie Snow (Manchester), Martin Willis (Glamorgan)
Event 2: 25-27 March 2010
Day 1: Bibliographic Tools in Literature, Medicine, and Science Interdisciplinary Research (Wellcome Library)
Students learned how to use databases and electronic resources specific to this kind of study and the Wellcome Library’s own catalogue of manuscripts, rare books, images, and sound archive.
Day 2: How to do Meaningful Interdisciplinary Research Linking Literature and Medicine
Hosted by clinical and non-clinical members of the Wellcome-funded Centre for the Humanities and Health at King’s College London. Sessions: 1) The Fallacy of Retrospective Diagnosis; 2) How Knowledge of Medical History Might Aid Literary Interpretation; 3) Narrative Concepts in Literature and Medicine; 4) The Case History as a Genre.
Day 3: Literature, Medicine, and Material Culture (Royal College of Surgeons)
In John Hunter’s Museum at the RCS, students explored how collections of medical objects have affected medical knowledge.
Teaching team: Simon Chaplin (RCS), Jane Darcy (KCL), Brian Hurwitz (KCL), Frances Larson (Durham), Ross McFarlane (Wellcome Library), Jenn Philips-Bacher (Wellcome Library), Carol Reeves (Wellcome Library), Sharon Ruston (Salford), William Schupbach (Wellcome Library), Alannah Tomkins (Keele), Neil Vickers (KCL)
Event 3: 1-2 July 2010
Day 1: Using History of Science Archives (Royal Institution of Great Britain)
Sessions included activities involving the manuscript collections of the RI and taught palaeography skills. Students transcribed and edited versions of manuscript texts, taking into account published forms and substantive variants.
Day 2: Exploring Science, Literature, and Objects (National Maritime Museum)
This session encouraged students to develop techniques in using and analysing different approaches to the history of voyaging, exploration, and navigation. It highlighted the intersections between literary evidence, material culture, and geographies of scientific knowledge, and helped students understand how to bring together these different resources in their research. Talks, tours, and activities were led by a guest speaker and members of the NMM’s curatorial team, with expertise in imperial and maritime studies, history of scientific instruments, history of science and technology, history of travel and exploration, and maritime art.
Teaching team: Richard Dunn (NMM), Rebekah Higgitt (NMM), Michael Hunter (Birkbeck), Frank James (RI), David Knight (Durham), John McAleer (NMM), Crosbie Smith (Kent)
Event 4: 13-14 January 2011
Day 1: Philosophy and Sociology of Science for Literature and History Students (Centre for the History of Science, Technology, and Medicine, University of Manchester)
Workshops and seminar discussions of key theorists in the philosophy and sociology of science, such as Kuhn, Popper, and Feyerabend.
Day 2: Poetry and Science – Poetry Written by Scientists and Poetry Informed by Science From the Eighteenth to the Twenty-First Centuries (University of Salford)
Teaching team: Hasok Chang (Cambridge), John Holmes (Reading), Sharon Ruston (Salford), James Sumner (Manchester), Stephanie Snow (Manchester), Michael Whitworth (Merton College, Oxford)
Event 5: 14-15 April 2011
Day 1: Science and Film: The Material Culture of Science, Technology, and Medicine (Blythe House, Science Museum)
Day 2: Image and Object in Art and Science (London Consortium)
This event helped develop an understanding of the visual and material culture of science, and the ways in which artists have responded to scientific issues and questions.
Teaching team: Scott Anthony (Cambridge), Isobel Armstrong (Birkbeck), Steven Connor (London Consortium), Esther Leslie (Birkbeck), Peter Morris (Science Museum)
Event 6: 14-15 July 2011
Day 1: Gender, Science, and Medicine (University of Leicester)
Workshop sessions were held on ‘Gender and Evolution’ and ‘Female Surgeons, Male Nurses’ to explore how issues of gender are integral to the study of science and medicine, and to facilitate critical engagement with recent historiography in this area. Discussion included an opportunity to evaluate the discipline of medical humanities and to explore the role of nineteenth-century culture in the formation of Darwin’s still-controversial theory of sexual selection.
Day 2: Constructing a Science of Society (Keele University)
In this event we looked at the issues and skills involved in a major project that catalogues and digitizes materials, and discussed how the Foundations of Sociology (Le Play) Archive links to late nineteenth-century evolution and environmentalism.
Teaching team: David Amigoni (Keele), Claire Brock (Leicester), Michael Brown (Roehampton), Gowan Dawson (Leicester), Holly Furneaux (Leicester), Gordon Fyfe (Keele), Chris Renwick (York), Alannah Tomkins (Keele)
Event 7: 30-31 March 2016
This two-day symposium at Lancaster University, the first LitSciMed event since 2011, provided scholars working in the field of literature, science, and medicine an opportunity to reflect on developments over the last five years. It featured sessions on careers, jobs outside academia, RA posts, research grants, publications, impact and working with non-HEIs, and editing projects (with specific reference to the Davy Letters Project).
Teaching team: Simon Bainbridge (Lancaster), Jerome de Groot (Manchester), Tim Fulford (De Montfort), Frank James (RI), Alice Jenkins (Glasgow), Andrew Lacey (Lancaster), Sharon Ruston (Lancaster), Jo Taylor (Lancaster), Martin Willis (Cardiff)