A conference announcement from the H-Net digest. Aside from the cringeworthy "triumph over" language here, it looks like an interesting program:
BAE Systems Theatre,
Australian War Memorial, Canberra
Thursday 24 and Friday 25 September, 2009
The history of warfare and the history of medicine have been closely linked. War has often been an accelerator of advances in medical treatment and surgery as doctors and nurses struggled to cope with the human cost and suffering of mankind’s most destructive acts.
The major wars of the last hundred years—from the First World War to more recent conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan—have driven advances in treatments for wounds and pain management, the use of antibacterial agents and more effective prophylaxis against disease and infection, as well as the development of radical new approaches to evacuating, treating and healing the injured.
Nevertheless, war continues to inflict its toll of carnage and human misery on not just combatants but also civilians who are, too often, either the intended or accidental targets of modern conflicts. The relationship between medicine and the military can also produce challenges and conflict.
For veterans and their families the post-war legacy of combat experience can sometimes seem as severe and persistent as the effects of wounds and injuries. War-damaged veterans are reminder of the enduring impact of war on Australian society.
The Australian War Memorial is convening this two-day conference to bring together eminent historians specialising in the medical and demographic consequences of warfare, medical practitioners and researchers in the field of military medicine, former and serving medical officers, surgeons, nurses and veterans. They will explore the impact of war, wounds and trauma through the historical record and personal experiences.
Major themes to be addressed by speakers include:
- Casualties in war, treatment in the field and medical evacuation, surgical teams and field hospitals
- Soldiers’ and doctors’ perspectives (personal accounts) of wounds and treatment
- Mine casualties, fear of wounds and acute trauma on the battlefield
- Shell shock, self inflicted wounds and combat fatigue
- Illnesses and diseases of war (malaria, dysentery, venereal disease, etc.), maintaining soldiers’ health, the evolution of service medicine
- Facially disfigured soldiers, advances in surgery, rehabilitation of wounded veterans
- The cost of war and veterans’ health studies, the aftermath and post mortems, including the debate over the effects of ‘Agent Orange’ in Vietnam
- Living with the effects, triumph over disabilities
- The lighter side (doctors’ and veterans’ memories)
Join us at the Australian War Memorial for an absorbing, stimulating and, at times, confronting exploration of the interaction of medicine and war.
This conference is being convened by the Australian War Memorial. The support of the Australian Government through the Department of Veterans’ Affairs is gratefully acknowledged.