Spring 2021 history-related events with the OHSU Library

Cherry blossom branches in foreground, OHSU campus and blue sky in background

Spring is here, and we have a slate of excellent history-centered online events planned here at the OHSU Library. We are very excited to invite you to join us for all of these great speakers and topics:

On April 15, Dr. Merlin Chowkwanyun of Columbia University will give a History of Medicine lecture on his research into medical student and resident activism in the 1960s and 1970s. Then, on April 28, Dr. Loren Pankratz, former Professor of Psychiatry at OHSU, will join us to discuss his new book, Mysteries and Secrets Revealed: From Oracles at Delphi to Spiritualism in America. And for OHSU Research Week, on May 6, Dr. Kassel Galaty, a recent graduate of the School of Medicine, will speak on her journey “from the ward to the archives,” as she paused her medical education to pursue an MPhil in the History of Medicine at the University of Cambridge.

All of our events are free, online, and open to the public – learn more below and register to receive the meeting links!

History of Medicine Lecture
Medical Student and Resident Activism in the 1960s and 1970s
Merlin Chowkwanyun, Ph.D., M.P.H.
April 15, 2021, 4:00pm – 5:00pm PT
Watch the event recording

Merlin Chowkwanyun, Ph.D., M.P.H., of Columbia University, joins us to discuss his research into political unrest at medical schools and neighborhood health activism during the 1960s and 1970s. The normally staid world of health sciences campuses erupted alongside political tumult over civil rights and the Vietnam War. This talk will examine the roots of this activism in the 1940s, then discuss a short-lived but fervent burst of activism that followed in the 1960s at major medical schools across the country, particularly those located in cities with pervasive gulfs between gilded medical campuses and the neighborhoods that surrounded them. Activists pushed for a more socially responsive curriculum and community outreach. By the early 1970s, this activism had largely imploded, but many involved with it sought to continue it in the residency phase of their training. This talk examines closely one such effort at Lincoln Hospital in the South Bronx.

Library Book Talk
Mysteries and Secrets Revealed: From Oracles at Delphi to Spiritualism in America
Loren Pankratz, Ph.D.
April 28, 2021, 12:00pm – 1:00pm PT
Watch the event recording

Loren Pankratz, Ph.D., joins the OHSU Library for a virtual discussion of his new book, Mysteries and Secrets Revealed: From Oracles at Delphi to Spiritualism in America. The book uncovers the truth behind mysteries of nature and secrets of frauds that have eluded common understanding throughout history. The journey begins in the ancient Greek city of Delphi and continues with the Renaissance philosophers who sought natural explanations. In a deeply researched narrative, the secrets of clairvoyants, mesmerists, and spiritualists are revealed through examination of uncommon documents and rare antiquarian pamphlets. Each story captures the tension of conflict, the thrill of discovery, and the strategies of science to unmask frauds, fakes, and false belief.

Research Week 2021 Lecture
From the Wards to the Archives, Or, How I Interrupted Medical School to Pursue the History of Medicine and Ended Up Studying 20th Century Struggles for Medical Authority and Hegemony
Kassel Galaty, M.D., M.Phil.

May 6, 2021, 12:00pm – 1:00pm PT
Watch the event recording

As a third-year medical student, Kassel Galaty decided to pursue an MPhil in the History of Medicine at the University of Cambridge. During her degree, she studied the heated debate over the standardization of NHS medical records in the 1960s; the underexplored implications of the intersection between medical professionalism and attire; the medical community’s attempt to police the fraudulent advertisements of the Edwardian “Doctor” Macaura’s miraculous Pulsocon; and the controversy surrounding the expansion of clinical autonomy provoked by the creation of national community health worker programs. Linking this diaspora of topics is the theme of medical authority—who wields it, how can it be challenged, and how is it maintained? In this talk, the speaker will discuss what influenced her decision to formally study the history of medicine, how her historical studies have impacted her medical education, and what insights these historical cases of medical authority can offer us about questions of medical authority today.

For questions or to request accommodations for this event, contact Meg Langford.

Note: Post updated in May 2021 with video recordings.