CFP: Health, Medicine and Mobility: International Migrations in Historical Perspective

University of Prince Edward Island, 24-26 June 2016
Extended deadline for proposals: Friday, 31 July 2015

The histories of migration and health are inextricably linked. The conditions that precipitated the departure of migrants for foreign destinations also compromised their physical and mental health. Likewise, the process of migration itself has been linked to psychological and other health concerns. The movements of migrants and the spread of epidemic diseases have long been understood as inter-connected by migrant-receiving communities and their governments, with results ranging from campaigns to keep particular immigrants out, to the establishment of substantial medical facilities for the management and/or care of unhealthy newcomers. Patients have migrated to improve their health in the belief that a change of environment or medical treatments available elsewhere would offer possibilities not available at home. Migration has also relocated people with healthcare skills and knowledge. The services of migrant medical professionals proved invaluable to immigrant-receiving societies in the twentieth and twenty-first centuries as they constructed their own health care systems. This resulted in a so-called “brain drain” from developing countries. At the same time, professional associations in industrialized countries proved ambivalent about the arrival of foreign-trained health care practitioners, fearing competition and questioning their skills. As a consequence, many migrant physicians, nurses, dentists and medical technicians were forced to retrain, move into ancillary careers, or abandon health care altogether.

In order to more fully explore the connections of migration and health, the University of Prince Edward Island, in conjunction with McGill’s Department of History and Classical Studies, its Institute for Health and Social Policy, and the Canadian Committee on Migration, Ethnicity and Transnationalism, will host a workshop entitled: Health, Medicine and Mobility: International Migrations in Historical Perspective. The workshop will take place at the University of Prince Edward Island on 24-26 June 2016.

The workshop aims to bring scholars working on different aspects of health, medicine and mobility into conversation to advance the theoretical and conceptual thinking in these interrelated fields. These preliminary conversations will serve as building blocks for a special journal issue or larger research project. Specific themes for inquiry include the following:

Please send a 300 word abstract along with a paper title and one page CV to Lisa Chilton. Extended CFP deadline: Friday, 31 July 2015.

Conference committee:
Lisa Chilton, Associate Professor, History Department, University of Prince Edward Island

David Wright
Canada Research Chair on the History of Health Policy
Professor, Department of History and Classical Studies
McGill University

Laura Madokoro
Assistant Professor, Department of History and Classical Studies
McGill University

James Moran
Associate Professor, History Department, University of Prince Edward Island
Canadian Society for the History of Medicine, President