In This Empire: Memory, Metaphors and the Rise of the Medical Statesman 1860-1890

  • Laura Neff (Invited speaker)

Activity: Participating in or organising an eventParticipation in workshop, seminar, course


Seminar on October 22 at CHSTM Lunchtime Seminars at the University of Manchester

Who can “enter” the body? Who is allowed to “explore” the interior territory of the most imitative connections of tissue, blood and flesh? Surgeons transgressed into the most forbidden regions of the human body, sometimes with tragic results. The history of abdominal and obstetric surgeons in late-nineteenth century London reveals a complicated dialogue revolving around risk, surgical specialism and professional success. How the bodies of women are imagined by nineteenth-century abdominal and obstetric surgeons reveals a body designed through notions of empire, race and class. As the British Empire expanded into recesses of the new lands, so too, did surgeons penetrate the female body, searching for “objects” and “treasures” to share. Pathology museums and medical societies were spaces where surgeons displayed their hoard of human objects with one another as fellow “explorers” of the human body. By examining the use of memory, metaphor and the rise of the role of the medical statesmen, this lunchtime seminar will expose an emerging surgical discipline forged in an age of imperial anxiety and expanding empire.
Period22 Oct 2013
Event typeOther


  • History of Surgery