Public Lecture – Somatic Affinities: Medicine and Portraiture

Members in Melbourne may be interested in this upcoming seminar presented by Visiting Professor Ludmilla Jordanova, Emeritus Professor of History and Visual Culture at Durham University, UK, and hosted by the University of Melbourne.

When? Tuesday, June 11, 6PM

Abstract: The popularity of portraiture, especially in the English-speaking world, is well known. That medical practitioners were keen on portraits is also a familiar claim.

In this talk Professor Ludmilla Jordanova will explore the affinities between medicine and portraiture by reflecting on the notion of ‘somatic affinity’ and on the ways in which health care professionals necessarily have to make careful visual appraisals all the time.

Since ‘portrait’ is a powerful metaphor, we might say they are in the business of generating portraits. We might also plausibly claim that those who produce portraits in the literal sense are doing something that is quasi-medical. There’s a wealth of contemporary material that can be put to use here, but there is also a golden opportunity for historical research capable of making a useful contribution to the medical humanities.

For more information and tickets:

PhD Scholarship – Medical Humanities Research Lab (University of Melbourne)

The Medical Humanities Research Lab invites prospective applicants with an interest in projects aligned with our research focus to submit an Expression of Interest for a PhD.

Project proposals are invited from prospective students with a background in the humanities and social sciences in areas that align with the following: histories of mental illness, psychiatry, psychology, and therapies (late 19th to 21st centuries), or the history and social implications of the use of technologies in mental health.

The successful applicant will be embedded within the Initiative in the School of Historical and Philosophical Studies, Faculty of Arts. All applicants will be automatically considered for a Melbourne Research Scholarship.

More info:

CfP: 27th International Congress of History of Science and Technology

The 27th International Congress of History of Science and Technology will be held from 29 June - 5 July 2025 at the University of Otago in Dunedin, New Zealand.
Symposium Proposals are due by 1 May 2024.
Standalone Papers are due by 1 December 2024.
For further details, please go to the Congress website:

Conference Details

The International Congress of History of Science and Technology (ICHST), held every four years, is the world’s premier meeting for history of science and technology. The 27th Congress will be held as a hybrid in-person and online event at the University of Otago’s Dunedin campus in June-July 2025. Delegates registered for virtual participation will be able to both present and attend online. The Congress will bring together a diverse group of the world’s leading scholars and students in the fields of history of science, technology, and medicine as well as related disciplines. It will be the first time the Congress has been held in Australasia and only the second time in the Southern Hemisphere. The theme of the 27th ICHST is “Peoples, Places, Exchanges, and Circulation."