Symposium on Medical Objects
Medical objects have different functions and generate different meanings. In addition to their (original) clinical or scientific function, they represent biomedical knowledge to patients and medical practitioners, generate memories of illness, treatment and medical interventions, and trigger emotions ranging from horror to grief or nostalgia.
Recent workshops such as ‘Curating the Medical Humanities’ (2018) and ‘Thinking Through Things: Object Encounters in the Medical Humanities’ (2020) have explored how working with (historical) medical objects may result in new understandings of health. For the purposes of academic education as well, object-based learning (or heritage-based learning) has been said to offer a methodology that makes debates on health more easily accessible for interdisciplinary student audiences.
The aim of this colloquium is to highlight the potential of medical objects and historical collections in medical and science museums for research and education in health humanities. It brings together international speakers from different disciplines, who testify of how they use medical (museum) objects in their research and teaching. Its aim is to reach a varied audience of researchers in health humanities, curators of medical and science museums, and all those interested in medical heritage.