The Material Body, 1500-1900: A Conference of Archaeologists and Historians

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Date / time
Date(s) - 4 July - 5 July
10:30 am - 5:00 pm

LR3 Arts Building, University of Birmingham


This conference brings together archaeologists and historians to explore new ways of studying the body in the post-medieval past. It will explore the challenges and possibilities of combining the archaeological, osteoarchaeological and historical record to understand the body and its role in the human past.What can bodily remains tell us about experiences of the body during life? How can the physical body be illuminated by using documents? What can scholars working on the history of the early modern body learn from studying the remains of those bodies?

Themes include the body as material culture, bodily display, bodily practices, health in the city and plastic bodies.

The keynote speakers are:

  • Jelena Bekvalac (Museum of London): Revealing past lives and “Getting to know you, Getting to know all about you”
  • Mary Fissell (Johns Hopkins) and Elizabeth Craig-Atkins (Sheffield): Marking MaternityMadeleine Mant (Memorial): Slips, Trips, Falls, and Brawls: Fractured Bodies in Eighteenth-Century London
  • David Turner (Swansea): Disability and the Material Body in the Industrial Revolution: Cultural Historical and Bioarchaeological Perspectives

More details:

£50 waged / £40 unwaged