Public health has a long and distinguished visual record. From seventeenth-century engravings to the latest digital images, visual representations have played a critical role in educating the public about modern health crises. But what purposes do these images serve beyond their immediate role in health prevention and education? What do they tell us about the history of health care, or attitudes toward our bodies, or the world that we live in?

“Visual Culture and Public Health” is the second in a series of symposia sponsored by the History of Medicine Division of the National Library of Medicine. It will include a keynote speaker and twelve presentations representing the disciplines of history of medicine, history of science, anthropology, sociology, geography, art history, and visual and media studies.

All sessions will be held in the National Library of Medicine’s Lister Hill Auditorium, on the campus of the National Institutes of Health in Bethesda, Maryland. The symposium is free and open to the public.

Proposed Program: Thursday, October 16, 2003 1:30-3:30: Panel #1: Visual Media and Contemporary Health Issues 4:00-5:30: Keynote Address by Barbara Maria Stafford, William B. Ogden Distinguished Service Professor, Department of Art History, University of Chicago: “Public Health as Public Art: The Role of Images in a Time of Epidemics”

Friday, October 17, 2003 9:30-11:30: Panel #2: Visual Imagery and Epidemics 1:00-3:00: Panel #3: Visualizing AIDS 3:30-5:30: Panel #4: Visual Culture and Environmental Health Reception to follow

Confirmed Speakers: Lisa Cartwright, Communications, University of California at San Diego Roger Cooter, History of Medicine, Wellcome Trust, University College London Arthur Frederick Hasler, Scientific Visualization and Analysis Laboratory, NASA William Helfand, Independent Scholar and Collector Nicholas King, Social Epidemiology and Population Health, University of Michigan Lenore Manderson, Anthropology, University of Melbourne Emily Martin, Anthropology, New York University Gregg Mitman, History of Science, University of Wisconsin at Madison Mark Monmonier, Geography, Syracuse University Katherine Ott, National Museum of American History, Smithsonian Institution Shawn Michelle Smith, American Studies, St. Louis University Paula Treichler, Institute of Communications Research, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

For on-line registration, directions to the National Library of Medicine, and other information about the symposium, please see our website at or e-mail [email protected].