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Women on the Edge: Motherhood and the Family in Turmoil in the Twentieth Century

2 Day Workshop, University of Warwick, 7 – 8 September 2023

The Centre for the History of Medicine at the University of Warwick will be hosting a two-day workshop entitled: “Women on the Edge: Motherhood & the Family in Turmoil in the Twentieth Century”, generously funded by the Wellcome Trust. The event aims to grapple with the interplay between motherhood, mental or emotional states and broader themes of criminality, neglect, abandonment and violence within the family in the twentieth century. This workshop is particularly interested in the role psychiatric, legal, “expert”, and popular thinking have had in understanding “deviant” female behaviour and its impact upon women themselves, their families and society at large.

The workshop organizers - Dr Kelly-Ann Couzens and Professor Hilary Marland - are seeking abstracts from a limited number of additional speakers to present their work at this event. We can offer economy class travel to/from Warwick and will accommodate speakers in one of our conference hotels on campus. The workshop will also be fully catered, including a conference dinner on the first evening.

Papers that explore the cross-over between mental states/emotion, motherhood and: criminality, child abandonment, abuse or neglect, child protection and social work, charitable organizations and institutions, incarceration, female sexuality, reproductive rights or prohibitions and “the problem family”, are most welcome. Abstracts that reflect upon theories, methods and sources for recovering these pasts, or challenges in researching these themes, are also encouraged. We invite submissions for individual papers and work-in-progress papers (20 - 25 minutes in length) that deal with this topic, broadly conceived. We are keen to receive abstracts of 250-300 words from scholars across academic disciplines (eg. history, criminology, legal studies, sociology, and literary studies) and from practitioners in the fields of law, policing, medicine, and psychiatry.

Please submit your abstract by email to Dr Kelly-Ann (Kelly) Couzens at by Monday 3 July 2023.

Fri 09 Jun 2023, 11:15 | Tags: Call for Papers Workshop

Anniversary Fever? History and the Culture of Celebrating the Age of the NHS

Professor Roberta Bivins and Professor Mathew Thomson are presenting the Ben Pimlott Memorial Lecture this year "Anniversary Fever? History and the Culture of Celebrating the Age of the NHS".

When: 6 July, 6pm to 8:30pm (BST)

Where: Anatomy Theatre & Museum, Strand London, WC2R 2LS

Find more information and how to attend here  

Tue 06 Jun 2023, 14:22 | Tags: Public Engagement Announcement

‘Born in the Asylum: Insanity of Pregnancy and Unwed Mothers around 1900’

Read Professor Hilary Marland's new blog 'Born in the Asylum: Insanity of Pregnancy and Unwed Mothers around 1900'

This research is part of The Last Taboo of Motherhood? project, funded by a Wellcome Trust Investigator Award (2021-24), which draws on a rich variety of sources to explore the history of maternal mental illness in twentieth-century Britain.

Mon 05 Jun 2023, 10:05 | Tags: Article

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