The Baltimore-Washington, DC metropolitan area boasts a rich array of historians of medicine and biomedical science. These historians work at more than a dozen different local universities and colleges, as well as in museums, libraries, fellowship programs, and departments of the federal government. Yet most of us-especially graduate students and non-academic historians-don’t know each other well. Many graduate students and scholars at smaller institutions feel isolated and out of touch.

To remedy this, the Washington Society for the History of Medicine, in conjunction with the History of Medicine Division of the National Library of Medicine, is organizing a special event for graduate students in the history of medicine to get together with other scholars in the field, and with each other, to discuss our research projects and interests, professional issues of concern, and area resources.

The symposium will be held at the National Library of Medicine’s Lister Hill Center (8600 Rockville Pike, Bldg. 38A, Bethesda) on May 18, 2007, from 9:30am to 5:00pm. Our special guest speaker is Beth Linker, Assistant Professor, University of Pennsylvania, History & Sociology of Science, author of Slouch: The Rise and Fall of American Posture, 1840-1980 (forthcoming).

Registration is free. Lunch, refreshments and snacks will be provided. We hope that the day will be friendly, substantive, lively, and useful.

To register, send contact information, CV, areas of interest, by email to Judy Chelnick [email protected] Please let Judy know whether you need, or are willing to provide, transportation. The symposium organizers cannot provide transportation, but are willing to help those in need find a ride.

The NIH campus is accessible by car, bus and metro (Medical Center stop on the Red Line). To enter the NIH participants will need government-issue photo ID.

Information on travel and access to the NIH campus is available at:


9.30 -9.45 Introductions

David Cantor, President, Washington Society for the History of Medicine Elizabeth Fee, Chief, History of Medicine Division, National Library of Medicine

9.45-10.30 Plenary.

Beth Linker, History and Sociology of Science, University of Pennsylvania

Beyond Disease to Disability: Medical Welfare for Physically “Defective” Soldiers in World War I America.

10.30-10.45 Coffee

10.45-12.15 What I’m working on, and why I’m interested in it.

A chance for all of us, graduate students and historians working in the field, to talk informally about our research projects, interests, theoretical frames, methods, etc.

Format: Informal 5-10 minute presentations

Up to 3 slides on memory stick allowed

This is your chance to let everyone else know what excites you about your work and the history of medicine.

12.15-1.15 Lunch

1.15-2.45 Jobs/careers: academic and non-academic careers.

A discussion of career options for historians of medicine led by:

Alexandra Lord, Acting Historian, U.S. Public Health Service Judy Chelnick, Curator, Division of Medicine and Science, National Museum of American History, Smithsonian Institution Beth Linker, Assistant Professor, History and Sociology of Science, University of Pennsylvania

Walter Hickel, Contract Historian, History Associates, Independent Scholar

2.45-3.15 Coffee

3.15-5.0 Medical movies as historical documents.

A selection of short films from the historical collection of the National Library of Medicine:

Michael Sappol, Curator-historian, National Library of Medicine

David Cantor, Historian, National Cancer Institute, National Library of Medicine

Commentary: The audience

5.0 Retire to the Rock-Bottom Brewery, Bethesda.