05 March 2015

The history of health and disease in Central and Eastern Europe since 1945 - Call for Papers

Category: Conferences, XXw, Meeting, Open projects - aplications, Discussion, News, Social history, Political history, Cultural history

Institute of History of the Polish Academy of Sciences together with Institute of National Remembrance invite you to participate in the internationalconference "The history of health and disease in Central and Eastern Europe since 1945", which will take place in Warsaw, 14-15 October 2015.

The material destruction, difficult sanitary conditions, poverty, as well as infectious disease epidemics collecting a heavy toll are important phenomena, often overlooked in the historiography, describing the post-war reality of Eastern Europe.
A new political order, introduced in this part of the continent, also covers the issue of health care. Some of the basic questions to be discussed during the scheduled conference are: to what extent, however, was the theme of universal, free access to health care put into practice in the second half of the twentieth century, what problems were encountered while implementing the reforms of the health care system by the end of the 80s, and how they were perceived by ordinary people.
The history of health and disease constitutes a relatively new field of historical research and it focuses, inter alia, on issues such as health policy of the state (the idea of public health), living conditions, and public health awareness. Issues related to health and disease refer to the particularly delicate sphere between the private and the public life. Therefore, research on the historical circumstances refers to a number of significant problems both in the field of social policy as well as within the scope of everyday life and mentality.

How in the postwar period (but also before the war) the concepts of health, disease, cleanliness, and dirt were defined in the culturally diverse European societies, and to what extent they have undergone transformations in the second half of the twentieth century; what influenced the directions and pace / dynamics of cultural as well as awareness and mental changes, - these are additional questions and problems we would like to focus in the discussions planned.

Other issues to be discussed during the conference include:

•    Health policy of communist states
•    Sanitation and quality of life
•    Awareness and health education
•    The health status of the citizens of the people's democracy countries
•    The health care institutions and their activities in practice
•    Excluded groups? War invalids, mentally ill, the disabled
•    Aging of the population
•    The phenomena of medicalization
•    Transformation of civilization and health issues
•    Occupational diseases, occupational medicine and OHS in socialist factories
•    Problems of in-patient and out-patient health care
•    Adaptation practices and health habits
•    The social position of doctors and medical / hospital staff
•    Patient and the total institution
•    Health – a public or a private sphere
•    Non-medical treatment

We are also open to other suggestions regarding the discussion of problems of the post-war history of health and disease in Eastern Europe. We invite both historians and cultural theorists, sociologists, anthropologists, and all researchers dealing in their work with issues falling within the framework of the planned program of the conference.

The conference will be held in Polish and English (with simultaneous translation). The organizers will cover the authors’ of the papers costs of stay (accommodation, meals) and the travel expenses will be reimbursed. Please send the applications form to the address: 

The deadline is 30 April 2015. 

Please enclose the abstract of the paper (up to 300 words in Polish or English), a short CV of the author and a fragment of one of the previous publications (articles). The organizing committee will make the selection and notify authors by the end of May 2015. We plan to publish the conference papers.


Source: H-net

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