2022 Georgian Group Symposium – Call for Papers

The Georgian Group Announcements & general news, News 5 Comments

2022 Symposium – Architecture & Health: 1660-1830

The Georgian Group’s symposium, Architecture & Health: 1660-1830, will be held at St Bartholomew’s Hospital, London, on Thursday 3 November 2022. The hospital, shortly to celebrate its 900th Anniversary, was ‘repaired and beautified’ in the eighteenth century. Gibbs’s Great Hall and adjacent Grand Staircase, with its miracle murals by Hogarth, provided an extraordinary backdrop for the encounter between benefactors and their impoverished beneficiaries. The spaces in which medicine was studied and debated, and healthcare provided, are profoundly revealing of Georgian society. In the aftermath of the Great Plague of 1665, Britain enjoyed a medical revolution: science was hotly debated with ancient views challenged, and new knowledge and practice explored within the Colleges of Physicians and Surgeons, on the benches of anatomy theatres, in books, and in botanical gardens. New voluntary hospitals relieved poor people, and radical practitioners addressed chronic public health problems. As we recover from the pandemic which highlighted social inequalities in the nation’s health, this symposium will consider what we can learn from as well as about history. Topics may include, but are not limited to, the following between 1660-1830:

  • Designing health spaces: air, light, sanitation, and water. Spaces of medical knowledge; improvised field hospitals.
  • Outside spaces: botanical gardens, spas, resorts, & therapeutic landscapes. 
  • Philanthropy, fundraising, & the arts
  • Scientific & medical instruments, collections, & public displays.
  • Public health & chronic disease, epidemiology, dispensaries.
  • Rural, provincial, & imperial healthcare, including in transit and abroad.

Proposals are invited for 15-minute papers based on original research. We particularly welcome talks from and about under-represented communities, from archivists, conservators, and medical historians. Please send abstracts of no more than 200 words and a copy of your CV to Dr Ann-Marie Akehurst (education@georgiangroup.org.uk) by 29 April 2022 (*deadline extended*). Any questions regarding the symposium should be sent to the same address.

Further details will be made available, and tickets will go on sale, later in the Spring.

Share this Post

Comments 5

  1. I hope something will be said about James “Athenian” Stuart’s design for an infirmary for the Old Royal Naval Hospital in Greenwich. I used to work in the building when it was the library to the University of Greenwich. It has now become the Student Union building. The original design was I believe, quite advanced for the time for it was built in the 1760’s. There were two sides to the hospital one for those with physical injuries and the other for those with sickness. Each room contained only 4 beds, at least one fireplace and two large windows which could be opened, louvres at the top admitted air without causing a constant draft. A corridor on the 2nd floor allowed sailors to lean on a wide ledge to look out of the window as if they were on a ship. I would be happy to present these ideas for allowing men to recover comfortably. In the early 19th century it became the Merchant Seamen’s infirmary.

  2. I will propose a presentation on the French Hospital, La Providence, founded by bequest in 1708 which moved from a ‘pest house’ to a purpose built hospital in Clerkenwell in 1718 when it received a charter from George I. Founded by first generation Huguenot refugees it still provides shelter for elderly people of proven Huguenot descent in Rochester Kent.

    1. Post

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.