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Regimens of Health: Perceptions, Representations and Practices, 1880-1950

13-14 December 2007
Modern Records Centre, University of Warwick

Workshop organisers: Dr Jane Adams and Sue Aspinall

This workshop will explore models and regimens of health between 1880 and 1950: the practices directed at achieving and maintaining a healthy body. In a period notable for the rise of bio-medicine and increased medical authority, it will focus on exploring health, rather than pathology, and on the practices aimed at health promotion and maintenance, rather than the cure of disease. The workshop will include such themes as spa therapy, exercise and physical training regimes, diet and nutrition, the relationship between mind and body and health regimens within a colonial context.

Among the questions it aims to address are: What was considered to promote health? How did beliefs and practices differ in different times and places and among different groups? How influential were concepts of holism? How was the relationship between a healthy mind and a healthy body theorised? What became of the six non- naturals? What advice did medical practitioners give about healthy regimen and lifestyle and how did this alter over the period? How was this information disseminated and what alternative models and discourses were available to the lay public? How did medical authority interface with lay agency? How did gender, class, nationality and culture affect the practices recommended and adopted?