(IM)MATERIAL CULTURE: Health History Collections in a Digital Era


A part of the University of Toronto’s Sesquicentennial Commemorations and hosted by the University of Toronto’s Health History Partnership (http://health-humanities.com/toronto-health-history), (IM)MATERIAL CULTURE: Health History Collections in a Digital Era, an interdisciplinary symposium, will take place on November 10th and 11th, 2017.  (IM)MATERIAL CULTURE begins with an evening reception and keynote address on the Symposium’s themes (Friday, November 10). This is followed by an inter-professional (IPE) education day (Saturday November 11) at the Medical Sciences building, with panels, speakers and exhibits charting the evolution of health history collections in a digital era.

Invited speakers will represent a broad range of collections relating to health and the body. These will include biobanks, anatomical collections, and anthropological collections, as well as collections of medical technology. (IM)MATERIAL CULTURE focuses particularly on broadening perspectives on health as represented through material culture. It explores ‘the invisible’ within collections (i.e. the material culture of groups who were not considered relevant to include) or misappropriated, with speakers and panelists who represent populations historically excluded from Health History collections. This symposium draws upon perspectives and methodologies from a variety of disciplines including Indigenous Studies, Disability Studies, Sexual and Diversity Studies, Black Canadian Studies and Mental Health Studies which speak to the importance of diversity-enhancing and ethical collection policies. High school students from the Faculty of Medicine’s Summer Mentorship Program ,who are currently exploring the material culture of health through individual research projects on local objects, will present their projects.