CFP: Panel on the history of forensic medicine and infanticide 18th-19th c. Utrecht, September 2011

At the conference ‘Body and Mind in the History of Medicine and Health’, organized by the European Association for the History of Medicine and Health, taking place 1-4 September 2011 in Utrecht, the Netherlands, we plan to organise a session on body and mind in forensic medicine, focussing on cases of infanticide in the 18th and 19th centuries. Since our own research is on England and Wales (Dr. Katherine Watson, Oxford Brookes University) and the Netherlands (Dr. Willemijn Ruberg, Utrecht University), we welcome proposals for papers on different countries, in order to facilitate international comparison. Questions that may be addressed include:

* Who was allowed to examine the bodies and minds of women accused of infanticide?
* How did different groups of experts (physicians, legal scholars, midwives, press and other lay people) claim knowledge on body and mind?
* How did gender, class and racial identities shape the construction of knowledge on body and mind?
* Can shifts be identified in the relationship between body and mind in cases of infanticide during the 18th and 19th centuries?
* How did legal and medical organisation structure the definition of knowledge and expertise?
* Which methodology might be adopted to study body-mind configurations in forensic medicine?
* How can the study of forensic medicine be related to other debates in social and cultural history?

Abstracts should not exceed one page and should include information concerning the scientific question examined, the sources and approach used and the (preliminary) results, as well as the title of the paper and name, affiliation, address and email address of the speaker. Please send your abstract before 15 October 2010, to: Dr. Willemijn Ruberg ( and Dr. Katherine Watson (

For more information on the conference, see:

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