Thursday, February 21, 2008, 6:00 PM with reception at 5:30 PM Medicine in Wartime, Part II: The Giant Hospital: Besieged Paris in the Modern War Era, 1870-1871

Bertrand Taithe, University of Manchester In 1870, Paris was besieged for the first time since the sixteenth century. Two million soldiers and civilians had to survive within the walls of the French capital city. Paris was then one of the key centers of medical learning and its public hospital system was the most comprehensive in France. Soon, however, private hospitals, ‘ambulances’ and evacuation systems multiplied under the newly established flag of the Red Cross. Paris turned into a giant hospital. This lecture relates how this mass medicalization took place and what it entailed for the war and for the idea of modern war. The siege of Paris was a key event on the international stage as medical staff from a multitude of nations participated for the first time in the humanitarian work of the Red Cross. Using equipment and methods developed during the American Civil War, the American ambulance was of particular importance in Paris in 1870. Bertrand Taithe is professor of cultural history at the University of Manchester. He has published extensively on the 1870 war, medicine and humanitarianism. His publications include the books Defeated Flesh and Citizenship and Wars, as well as a number of articles on humanitarianism in books and journals.

To register for this event, visit

Save the Dates!

Thursday, March 27, 2008 , 6:00 PM (with reception at 5:30) Arleen Tuchman, The Iago Galdston Lecture,”Diabetes: A Cultural History”

Thursday, April 24, 2008, 6:00 PM (with reception at 5:30) Beth Linker, Medicine in Wartime, Part III: “Limb Lab: Getting Amputee Soldiers Back to Work in World War I America”

Thursday, May 8, 2008, 6:00 PM (with reception at 5:30) Susan Smith, The Annual Lilianna Sauter Lecture, Medicine in Wartime, Part IV: “Human Experimentation with Mustard Gas in World War II”