Imperial and empirical: crafting medicine in the 19th century

Monday 16 November, 16:00 (BST)   Online with Zoom

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Garbizza, Angelo (Italie, en 1777 - Trévise, 04–05–1813), dessinateur. Musée Carnavalet, Histoire de Paris


 Seminars in the History of Science, Medicine, and Technology

Martin Robert (University of Oxford)

Imperial and Empirical : Crafting Medicine in the 19th century

How did the medical profession become so present in our lives? The answer to this question lies partly in the medical schools established during the 19th century in colonies of European empires. From Canada to India, a defining feature of the medical training that they offered was that it centered on human dissection. This imperial context and this empirical content of what would establish itself as orthodox medical education in the colonies played a major role in the institution of a globalized professional medicine from the 19th century. In support of this idea, this talk will first cover the institution of medical education in Canada, emphasizing the role of human dissection in the understanding of medical competence within its first medical schools. It will then take into account the history of medical schools established in British India at the turn of the 19th century to emphasize the role of empires as a shaping force in contemporary medical history.

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