Power in Medicine: Interrogating the Place of Medical Knowledge in the Modern Middle East

The workshop “Power in Medicine: Interrogating the Place of Medical Knowledge in the Modern Middle East” is organized by Edna Bonhomme (MPIWG), Shehab Ismail, (MPIWG) and Lamia Moghnieh (AUB, EUME). The event will be held on 11th and 12th April 2019 (Harnack-Haus, Tagungsstätte der MPG, Ihnestr. 16-20, 14195 Berlin) and will be convened by Europe in the Middle East—Middle East in Europe (EUME) and the Max Planck Institute for the History of Science (MPIWG) in Berlin, Germany. The workshop will examine the history and politics of medicine and psychiatry in the Middle East from the 1800s until the contemporary period. The abstract (below) provides some context to the research aims and vision of the workshop.
Please find workshop program here and the poster here.
The keynote lecture is public. To attend the workshop panels, registration is required: event_dept3@mpiwg-berlin.mpg.de by March 1st, 2019.

Medical school in 19th century Ottoman Empire.

The history of medicine has undergone a set of iterations often embedded within the history of ideas (Henry Sigerist, Owsei), sociology of knowledge (Thomas Kuhn), and cultural history (Charles Rosenberg). Since World War II, politics has been an explicit and implicit feature leading to conversations about biopower (Michel Foucault), feminism (Judith Leavitt), Orientalism (Edward Said), and colonialism (Anne Marie Moulin). The recent historiography of medicine has shifted as analytical categories within local and global contexts have disrupted along the lines of the local vs. the global, center vs. periphery, and “Western” vs.“non-Western.” During the past decade, numerous scholars of science, technology, and medicine in colonial and postcolonial societies have adopted circulation as a useful lens of analysis. Our workshop seeks to move beyond a false dichotomy between circulation and power by examining the trajectory of medicine in the modern Middle East.

The Middle East has been and continues to feature within the global and globalizing processes insofar that it has been a site where capitalist, imperialist, and nationalist institutions have functioned as heuristics for power. We hope to look at the geographic transmission of medical knowledge from the late eighteenth century into the contemporary period. Medicine did not operate in isolation but was part of a shifting geospatial framework of the Ottoman Empire, European colonialism, and independent states. This workshop will unpack medicine and power by considering how the (re)production of medical knowledge and these local political formations dovetailed with broader global processes. Understanding how political and economic power operated within the framework of knowledge production and in the Middle East shows how knowledge migrated to proximate regions in Africa, Asia, and Europe.

Consequently, we hope that the workshop will investigate the production and circulation of medical knowledge, highlighting issues of translation, expertise, and mediation or competition between knowledge traditions. More broadly, we seek to probe the conditions of possibility of the globality of knowledge and its various formations. To that end, this workshop aims to make visible the transnational, intersecting, and dynamic histories of medicine and health in the modern Middle East and beyond. Second, we aim to respond to an ongoing trend in the study of science, technology, and medicine that depoliticizes knowledge and reinforces socially constructed boundaries between knowledge and society against which the field developed. By looking at the Middle East—a region disrupted by dynamics of imperialism, state formation, decolonization, the Cold War, civil wars, authoritarianism, popular uprisings, and mass immigration—we can better address the depoliticization and the archaeology of knowledge.

This workshop aims to explore diverse disciplinary backgrounds on topics such as the geography of disease, translation, sexology, psychiatry, labor, race, medical taxonomies, and medical technologies. Several issues will be addressed, notably: the production and circulation of medical knowledge, highlighting issues of translation, expertise, and mediation or competition between knowledge traditions. More broadly, we seek to probe the conditions of possibility of the globality of knowledge and its various formations. To that end, this workshop aims to make visible the transnational, intersecting, and dynamic histories of medicine and health in the modern Middle East and beyond.

Participants:

Gülhan Balsoy Erkaya and Cihangir Gündoğdu (Istanbul Bilgi Universitesi)
Edna Bonhomme (MPI for the History of Science)
Hannah-Louise Clark (University of Glasgow)
Elise Burton (Newnham College)
Jennifer Derr (UC Santa Cruz)
Omar Dewachi (Rutgers University)
Christopher Dole (Amherst College)
Chris Gratien (University of Virginia)
Sherine Hamdy (UC Irvine) with Soha Bayoumi (Harvard University)
Shehab Ismail (MPI for the History of Science)
Nazan Maksudyan (Freie Universität Berlin/Centre Marc Bloch)
Lamia Moghnieh (EUME)
Nora Parr (SOAS London)
Omnia El Shakry (Keynote Speaker, UC Davis)
Sherene Seikaly (UC Santa Barbara)
Chris Wilson (University of Cambridge)
Seçil Yilmaz (Franklin & Marshall College)
Asli Zengin (Brown University)

Commentators:

Hansjörg Dilger (Freie Universität Berlin)
Lisa Hellman (Freie Universität Berlin)
Bhrigupati Singh (Wissenschaftskolleg zu Berlin; Brown University)


Program (April 11-12)

Thursday, April 11th 2019

10:00: Introductory Remarks by the Convenors

10:30-12:30: Circulation, Borders, and Interruptions
[Movement is integral to many of these disease, peoples, and concepts; What are the dynamics that causes people/diseases/medical technologies to move and cause interruption?]

Chris Wilson. “Border-Crossing Patients in the History of Psychiatry in British Mandate Palestine”
Sherene Seikaly. “The Pith Helmet and the Expert: A Palestinian in Sudan”
Edna Bonhomme. “Settlers First: Infections, Medicine, and Labor in Colonial Libya”
Commentator: Lisa Hellman

12:30-13:30: Lunch

13:30-15:30: Competition, Laboratories, and the Contested Geographies of Medicine
[How does knowledge get contested and and politicized? What gets transferred in the process and what does not?]

Omar Dewachi. “Where Lives and Infrastructure Meet: The Making and Unmaking of Biopolitics in Iraq”
Elise Burton. “The Viral Coup: The Iranian Pasteur Institute and Medical Research after Mosaddegh”
Seçil Yılmaz. “During Pasha’s Laboratory: Syphilis and Empire in the Late Ottoman Countryside”
Lamia Moghnieh. “The Lebanon Hospital for Mental and Nervous Disorders: Psychiatry, Subject and Society in Lebanon”
Commentator: Hansjörg Dilger

15:30-16:00: Coffee

16:00-18:00: Keynote Lecture by Omnia El Shakry: “Psychoanalysis and the Imaginary: Translating Freud in Postcolonial Egypt” (open to public)

18:00: Dinner

Friday, April 12th 2019

9:00-11:00: Managing Bodies
[How do people and states govern bodies through moral and legal measures? What happens when bodies are managed through medical discourse?]

Hannah Louise Clark. “Algeria’s Other Arab Doctors: Jewish Lives and Livelihoods in Algeria under French Colonial Algeria”
Nora Parr. “Power of Organizing/Occluding: Trauma and Time Through Arabic Fiction”
Gülhan Balsoy Erkaya and Cihangir Gündoğdu. “Medicalizing Death in the Late Ottoman World”
Commentator: Nazan Maksudyan

11:00-11:30: Coffee

11:30-13:30: Framing Objects of Knowledge
[How do objects get framed by medical practitioners? How do experts and professionals make novel terms, organs, that shame disease, therapeutics, or death?]

Chris Gratien. “Tropics of the Taurus: German Medicine and Malaria in the Ottoman Empire during WWI”
Shehab Ismail. “German and Egyptian Sexologists and the Boundaries of the Sexual Instinct: Early Twentieth-Century Encounters”
Jennifer Derr. “The Liver in Egypt”
Commentator: Omnia El Shakry

13:30-14:30: Lunch

14:30-16:30: Trajectories of Medicine in the Contemporary Middle East
[How do researchers who study the contemporary period write about disease and medicine in the present]

Christopher Dole. “Experiments in Scale: Overcoming the Limits of Psychiatry in Post-Disaster Turkey”
Asli Zengin. “Science of Sexual/Gender Transgression in Turkey: A Transnational Approach”
Sherine Hamdy & Soha Bayoumi. “Nationalist Discourse and Medical Practice in Post-Revolutionary Egypt”
Commentator: Bhrigupati Singh

17:00-18:30: Syntheses and Conclusions


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3 Antworten

  1. 20. März 2019

    […] 11th and 12th April 2019, the workshop “Power in Medicine: Interrogating the Place of Medical Knowledge in the Modern Middle East” will take place in Berlin. It is organized by Edna Bonhomme, Shehab Ismail, (both MPIWG) and […]

  2. 19. April 2019

    […] 11th and 12th April 2019, the workshop “Power in Medicine: Interrogating the Place of Medical Knowledge in the Modern Middle East” will take place in Berlin. It is organized by Edna Bonhomme, Shehab Ismail, […]

  3. 22. Mai 2019

    […] 11th and 12th April 2019, the workshop “Power in Medicine: Interrogating the Place of Medical Knowledge in the Modern Middle East” took place in Berlin. It was organized by Edna Bonhomme, Shehab Ismail, (both MPIWG) and Lamia […]

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