30 April – 1 May 2010

Diet and digestion, and associated topics, have been relatively neglected in histories of the body, health and medicine.  We have a limited historical context in which to locate the diseases and ailments of the digestive system, such as dyspepsia or peptic ulcer disease, not to mention processes such as vomiting.  Meanwhile, historical analysis of issues related to food and eating often reveals a tendency to stress the political elements of historical events at the expense of the biological and medical.  Topics such as hunger strikes, and the rise of organised movements such as the Temperance movement and organised vegetarianism have complex medical and biological aspects which are worthy of serious analytical attention.

This workshop aims to act as a platform to discuss and critically engage with these themes.  We welcome abstracts from all periods of history, and from all international contexts.  Possible topics include, but are not restricted to:

– Refusal to eat food (e.g. hunger strikes)

– Dietary movements (e.g. temperance societies, vegetarianism)

– The development of related technologies such as frozen food and processed food.

– Historical concepts related to understandings of nutrition

– The history of individual digestive organs such as the stomach

– Medical issues related to digestion (e.g. gastric ulcer disease, indigestion)

– Socio-cultural issues related to obesity and anorexia.

– Surgical and medical intervention in the digestive system.

– Human and animal digestive habits

– Digestion and Criminal Activity (e.g. poisoning)

Please send a 250 word abstract to Ian Miller ([email protected])

University College Dublin (organised by the Centre for the History of Medicine in Ireland)ian [dot] miller2 [at] ucd [dot] ie%27%29″>[email protected]) no later than 30 November 2009. Workshop organised by the Centre for the History of Medicine in Ireland. For further information contact Mike Liffey (Michael [dot] liffey [at] ucd [dot] ie”>[email protected])

History, Digestion and Society: New Perspectives