2023 HSMT Postgraduate Conference: The Ox-cars

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2023 HSMT Postgraduate Conference: The Ox-cars
8 & 9 June 2023 - Faculty of History, Oxford

The two-day conference plans to illuminate – in bright white spotlight, of course – the dazzling research of this year's cohort. Bringing historical narratives to life in intricate detail, the conference spans four centuries and will discuss topics ranging from Scottish asylum patients’ use of expression in patient-produced magazines, through to counter cartography in late twentieth-century Chocó, Colombia. So, why indulge in a Hollywood Blockbuster when you have the most thought-provoking narratives right on your doorstep? We look forward to you helping us roll out the red carpet and erupting in applause. (Popcorn not provided!).


Thursday 8 June




Opening Monologue: Professor Rob Iliffe
“Once Upon a Time in Hollywood” (Best Production Design, 2019)


Session 1 – Theories of Nature
‘The Theory of Everything’ (Best Actor, 2014)

Tinius Bentsen Dragland, Science by comparison: justificatory analogy and its decline in European thought, 1780-1820

Ariana Orozco, Militarizing nature: the impacts of violence on Colombia’s Pacific Coast (c. 1966-1996)

Chair: Emmay Deville




Session 2 – Eugenics
‘Million Dollar Baby’ (Best Picture, 2005)

Mahealani Daniels, Dissecting America’s model identity: a historical examination of Harry Hamilton Laughlin’s idealized body politic and reconciliations with American freedom

Lauren Devine, The ascent of crypto-eugenics: the American Eugenics Society’s Princeton conferences and the rehabilitation of “the wellborn science” in 1960s-America

Chair: Grace Aquilina




Session 3 – Disease
‘Parasite’ (Best Picture, 2019)

Anubhab Chatterjee, A case study on Colonial resistance: probing the bhadraloks’ public health drive during the plague outbreak in Bengal viz. Calcutta (c. 1896-1914)

Florian Gregor Eichhorn, When did the Spanish Influenza pandemic end? Occupation accusations and virulent “Schwarze Schande” propaganda in the French medical and military administration of the German Rhineland Region between 1920-1923

Benjamin Rymer, “Against the climate, who can contend?” Disease in the Peruvian War of Independence, 1820-1824

Chair: Lorelei Robinson




Session 4: Institutions
Monsters, Inc’ (Best Original Song, 2001)

Grace Aquilina, “The world Is hard on women”: institutionalised mothers, worthiness, and the professionalization of care

Emmay Deville, Patients’ use of Crichton Royal Institution’s New Moon as a vehicle of expression and change, c.1890-1910

Thea Ralph, “The sewing machine men are happy”: corporate ambivalence and the sewing machine in the American sweat shop (c.1890-1920)

Ella Stalder, “The Moscow Games might as well have been called the Chemists' Games”: athlete testing, a gendered and western reaction to the sporting success of marginalised bodies, 1968-1999

Chair: Ariana Orozco


Closing Monologue: Professor Mark Harrison
‘The Long Goodbye’ (Best Live Action Short Film, 2021)

Friday 9 June


Registration and Tea/Coffee


Opening Monologue: Dr Catherine Jackson
‘The Usual Suspects’ (Best Original Screenplay, 1995)


Session 5: Provider-Patient Power Dynamics
Doctor Dolittle (Special Visual Effects, 1968)

Judy Flannery Durkin, From “physical and mental wrecks” to baby killers: Dr Aleck Bourne and changing medical perceptions of pregnant patienthood in British abortion debates (c.1938-1968)

Lorelei Robinson, The development of UCSF School of Medicine’s queer health curricula and the emergence of LGBTQ+ Health

Pádraig Nolan, Sex change in British science and medicine before “transsexualism,” 1910-1966

Chair: Thea Ralph


Closing Monologue: Dr Sloan Mahone
‘Everything Everywhere All at Once’ (Best Picture, 2022)