Date: March 21st 2011

Conference Announcement:

Communicating Good Health: Movies, Medicine, and the Cultures of Risk in
the Twentieth Century

Geneva, Switzerland, 26 - 27 May 2011

Organizers: Prof. Christian Bonah, Institut de Recherches
Interdisciplinaires sur la Technologie et les Sciences (France); Dr Anja
Laukötter, Max Planck Institute for Human Development (Germany), Dr. David
Cantor, National Institutes of Health (USA).

During the twentieth century, film came to be seen as a revolutionary
technology that would entertain, document, instruct, and transform a mass
audience. In the field of medicine and public health, doctors, educators,
health advocates and politicians were especially enthusiastic about the
potential uses of the motion picture as a "modern" tool of communication.

This conference aims to explore the historical development of the public
health education film as a medium for transforming public ideas and
practices about disease, health and the body. In particular, it seeks to
show how a variety of medical and public health organizations turned to
movies to educate the public, reform their health behaviours, and manage
their anxieties and hopes about health, illness, and medical
interventions. Its topics include how health campaigns employed motion
pictures to promote their public education programs, how these films were
produced and distributed, how the public responded to them, and the
communication techniques that filmmakers and their sponsors used to ensure
that films did the work they wanted them to do.

The symposium will be of interest to: historians of medicine, science,
film and the media, bioethicists, physicians, public health officials, and
specialists in health education.

Registration is limited to 25 participants, so please book early by
completing the Registration Form and payment details. The form should be
returned to the Brocher Foundation by mail, email or fax. The deadline for
registration is 8th April 2011.

For further details on the Symposium see or contact

Brocher Foundation
Rte d'Hermance 471, CP 21
CH - 1248 Hermance, Switzerland
Telephone: +41 22 751 93 88
Fax: +41 22 751 93 91


Dr. Vincent Lowy, University of Strasbourg, France Facing Hollywood Golden
age aesthetics: John Ford's 'Sex Hygiene' (1941) and the question of
singularities, contexts and methods of health education films

I. Campaigns: Strategies and Practices

Dr. Miriam Posner, Emory University, Atlanta, USA "Educational
Prophylaxis" and "Mental Inoculation": Vaccine metaphors in World War One
hygiene films

Dr. Anita Gertiser, University of Zurich, Switzerland Going for the heart
strings - how emotions are employed in educational films

Prof. Ursula von Keitz, University of Bonn, Germany Cinema and health
education in West and East Germany from 1945 to 1955

Prof. Susan Lederer, University of Madison Wisconsin, USA Radiating
health: Public health and mass destruction in the 1950s

II. Production and Distribution

Dr. David Cantor, National Institutes of Health, Bethesda, USA Between
movies, markets, and medicine: The Eastern Film Corporation, Frank A
Tichenor, and medical and health films in the 1920s.

Dr. Timothy Boon, Science Museum, London, Great Britain The culture of
health education filmmaking and reception in Britain, 1914-1951

Dr. Kirsten Ostherr, Rice University Houston, TX, USA The biopolitics of
animation: Global health and sponsored films in the postwar era

Dr. Paul Theerman Images and Archives Section, History of Medicine
Division, National Library of Medicine, Bethesda, USA The historical
medical films of the National Library of Medicine

III. Reception and Spectatorship

Dr. Alexandre Sumpf, University of Strasbourg, France Soviet cinema and
social hygiene against alcoholism in New Economic Policy -era Russia

Dr. Anja Laukötter, Max Planck Institute for Human Development, Berlin,
Germany Measuring knowledge and emotions. Audience research on educational
films in the beginning of the 20th century

Prof. Vinzenz Hediger, University of Bochum, Germany The smell of poverty.
Cinema, olfaction, and the discourse on public hygiene in early cinema

Prof. Scott Curtis, Northwestern University, USA Acting out: Performance
and identification in the postwar mental health film

Dr. Michael Sappol, National Library of Medicine, Bethesda, USA Difficult
subjects: Showing, viewing and the moral effects of the medical cinema of
disease and suffering

IV. Communication techniques: Information - commercialization - propaganda

Elizabeth Lebas, Middlesex University, London, Great Britain Where there's
life, there's soap': Municipal public health films in Britain, 1920- 1954

Prof. Christian Bonah, University of Strasbourg, France Propaganda in the
service of humanity. Promoting and advertising health in industrial and
corporate films from the 1920s to the 1950s

Dr. Odette Wegwarth/Dr. Wolfgang Gaissmaier, Max-Planck-Institute for
Human Development Berlin, Germany Can audio-visual information about
health ever be neutral enough to 'educate' rather than 'persuade'?

David Cantor PhD
Deputy Director
Office of History
National Institutes of Health
Bldg 45, Room 3AN38, MSC 6330
Bethesda, MD 20892-6330
Phone: 301-402-8915 (Direct)
       301-496-6610 (Office)
Fax:   301-402-1434

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