CSHM/CAHN 2013 Conference Report

The 2013 joint meeting of the Canadian Society for the History of Medicine and the Canadian Association for the History of Nursing took place in Victoria, BC from Saturday June 1 to Monday June 3. As a pre-conference kick off, and in the spirit of the joint meeting, Friday evening saw the staging of a Nursing Uniform Costume Event at the University of Victoria’s McPherson Library. The event, spearheaded by nursing historians Glennis Zilm and Shelia Rankin Zerr, featured several costumes from Zerr’s personal collection and highlighted shifts in nursing dress from the mid-seventeenth century through to the present. Many familiar faces filled the model roster, and the event was well attended and enjoyed by all. With the beginning of formal sessions on Saturday morning, Barbra Mann Wall of the University of Pennsylvania gave the Hannah Lecture entitled “Disasters, Nursing, and Community Responses: A Historical Perspective.” Afterwards, many graduate students attended a special lunchtime session, and heard about opportunities to publish in the Bulletin. On Sunday, Nyan Shah of the University of Southern California delivered the Paterson Lecture, speaking on “Prison Hunger Strikes, Medical Ethics, and Globalizing the Anti-Apartheid Struggle.” The CSHM Annual “Strawberries and Champagne” Book Launch, where books from members including Jackie Duffin, Jonathan Reinarz, and Sonya Grypma were celebrated, marked the end of a second full day of concurrent sessions, following which many adjourned to a banquet at the University Club. After a half day of sessions on Monday morning, outgoing CSHM president Susanne Klausen wrapped up the conference by delivering her presidential address, entitled “‘The Trial the World is Watching’: The 1972 Prosecution of Medical Abortionist Dr. Dirk Crichton in Apartheid South Africa,” before passing the torch to new president James Moran. In closing, David Theodore of Harvard University was awarded the Segall Prize for his paper, “Planning for the Patient: Gordon A. Friesen, Patient-centred Care and Automation.” As in previous years, the papers given in Victoria were excellent, as was the quality of discussions both within and outside of formal academic sessions. Co-chairs Kristin Burnett and Jayne Elliot put together an exciting and diverse programme for the joint meeting, and local arrangements coordinators Margaret Scaia and Cheryl Krasnick Warsh did an outstanding job in both planning the conference and ensuring everything ran smoothly. Thanks to all those who were involved for an excellent conference! See you next year at Brock!

Whitney Wood
PhD Candidate
Department of History
Wilfrid Laurier University