NLM History of Medicine lecture – Scientists’ Mind-Body Problems: Lobotomy, Science, and the Digital Humanities

Dear Colleagues,

You are cordially invited to the next NLM History of Medicine lecture, to be held Thursday, September 19, from 2:00pm to 3:00pm in the NLM Lister Hill Auditorium, Building 38A, National Library of Medicine, Bethesda, MD.  This special program will be the 2019 NLM James H. Cassedy Lecture in the History of Medicine.

This year’s lecture will be “Scientists’ Mind-Body Problems: Lobotomy, Science, and the Digital Humanities,” delivered by Miriam Posner, PhD, Assistant Professor, Information Studies Department, University of California – Los Angeles.

Dr. Posner will examine the career of Walter J. Freeman II, MD (1895-1972), who was the world’s foremost exponent of lobotomy. Freeman was also an avid photographer, who almost invariably captured before-and-after images of his patients. The talk explains how Freeman’s apparently eccentric practice fit into the larger picture of science and medicine in the mid-20th century, and how digital humanities methods have helped give context and nuance to Freeman’s work. It concludes with a consideration of what digital humanities methods might offer to historians of medicine in the twenty-first century.

This lecture will be live-streamed globally, and subsequently archived, by NIH VideoCasting:

This lecture will also be co-sponsored by the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) Office of Digital Humanities through the NLM/NEH partnership to collaborate on research, education, and career initiatives:

All are welcome.

Sign language interpretation is provided. Individuals with disabilities who need reasonable accommodation to participate may contact Ken Koyle at 301-827-4599, e-mail, or via the Federal Relay (1-800-877-8339).

In addition, we warmly welcome you to visit our blog, “Circulating Now,” where you can learn more about the collections and related programs of the History of Medicine Division of the NLM:<>

Here also you can read an interview with Dr. Posner about her upcoming lecture:

Due to current security measures at NIH, off-campus visitors are advised to consult the NLM Visitors and Security website:

Event contact:
Kenneth M. Koyle, Deputy Chief
History of Medicine Division, National Library of Medicine, NIH

Sponsored by:
Jeffrey S. Reznick, PhD, Chief
History of Medicine Division, National Library of Medicine, NIH

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