Beyond Binaries: Gender, Sexuality and Medicine in Post-War Europe

Jun 9 – Jun 10, 2023 

A con­fer­ence orga­nized by the Cen­tre for the Study of Health, Ethics and Soci­ety, Uni­ver­si­ty of Ham­burg at the War­burg-Haus, Hamburg

Sub­mis­sion Dead­line: 6th March 2023

How can gen­der and sex­u­al­i­ty – broad­ly con­ceived both method­olog­i­cal­ly and the­mat­i­cal­ly – help to inform his­tor­i­cal under­stand­ing of the role of med­i­cine in post-war Europe? This con­fer­ence will bring togeth­er schol­ars work­ing in dif­fer­ent dis­ci­plines to exam­ine how the­o­ret­i­cal approach­es incor­po­rat­ing gen­der and sex­u­al­i­ty can shed light on med­ical ethics, sci­en­tif­ic prac­tices, and pol­i­cy­mak­ing asso­ci­at­ed with health across the ide­o­log­i­cal divide. How can his­to­ries of gen­der and sex­u­al­i­ty illu­mi­nate indi­vid­ual med­ical expe­ri­ences and the com­plex rela­tions between patients, doc­tors, pol­i­cy­mak­ers, phar­ma­ceu­ti­cal com­pa­nies, and med­ical ethi­cists dur­ing the Cold War period?

We are par­tic­u­lar­ly inter­est­ed in papers which exam­ine gen­der, sex­u­al­i­ty, and med­i­cine in Cen­tral and East­ern Europe in order to gain greater insight into how med­i­cine was imag­ined, man­aged, sold and expe­ri­enced across Europe. Explor­ing gen­der and sex­u­al­i­ty in the con­text of post-war med­i­cine can help us to dis­cern poten­tial sim­i­lar­i­ties in med­ical prac­tices, poli­cies, and expe­ri­ences across Europe, which moves beyond the secu­ri­ty con­text and ide­o­log­i­cal dif­fer­ences of the Cold War to high­light the exchange of sci­en­tif­ic ideas across the “Iron Cur­tain”. Exam­in­ing gen­der, sex­u­al­i­ty and med­i­cine in the post-war peri­od can bring about a new schol­ar­ly per­spec­tive on Europe as a con­ti­nent that was to some extent unit­ed by shared expe­ri­ences, poli­cies, and beliefs.

Please send a 250-word abstract and title, togeth­er with your insti­tu­tion­al affil­i­a­tion and a brief bio, to Dr Kate Dock­ing and Dr David Peace by 6 March 2023. Accom­mo­da­tion and meals for accept­ed speak­ers will be pro­vid­ed by the con­fer­ence organ­is­ers. The con­fer­ence pro­ceed­ings will be pub­lished in an edit­ed volume.

Sub­jects of papers might include, but are cer­tain­ly not lim­it­ed to:
– Repro­duc­tion: abor­tion, con­tra­cep­tion, repro­duc­tive rights, sexology
– Pro­phy­lax­is: vac­ci­na­tion, health­care campaigns
– Clin­i­cal tri­als and human experimentation
– Med­ical expe­ri­ences of trans‑, non-bina­ry, and queer persons
– Con­cepts of nor­mal­i­ty, enhance­ment, dis­abil­i­ty, and pathology
– Gen­dered natures and impli­ca­tions of eth­i­cal codes
– Gen­der inequal­i­ties in access to med­ical care and health responsibilities
– Rep­re­sen­ta­tions of gen­der and sex­u­al­i­ty in media and the arts
– Forms of protest and resis­tance: patients, pro­fes­sion­al groups
– Role of data sci­ence and genet­ics in tar­get­ed medicine
– Psy-dis­ci­plines: psy­chol­o­gy, psy­chi­a­try, psy­chodra­ma, psy­cho­analy­sis etc
– The­o­ret­i­cal reflec­tions on the writ­ing of gen­der and sexuality