CHSTM, University of Manchester: Lunchtime Seminar: More than buildings for medical treatment – hospitals from 20th century in the city of Porto, Portugal, 4th October, 1pm

More than buildings for medical treatment – hospitals from the 20th century in the city of Porto, Portugal‘, Monique Palma (NOVA School of Science and Technology, CIUHCT, Portugal)

This is a work in progress which one of the aims is to create a roadmap of medical spaces in Porto, Portugal. A roadmap is a tool to understand how urban spaces are used, to learn about the production of medical knowledge, and changes in human lifestyles. There are several buildings which, in the past, used to be spaces where surgeons and physicians could put their knowledge of medicine into practice, regarding which there are no adequate references nowadays. Also, there are places that have been used for medical purposes since their construction.  There are many of those places which are heritage in Portugal. 

Porto is a city equipped with hospitals that are more than places aimed at providing medical assistance; those buildings are an integral part of the country’s historical and cultural heritage. Mapping these places – using an infographic resource about spaces, diseases, public and private power, and personalities relevant to the history of the hospitals we are looking at as our case study – is an aspect of this research which is currently under construction and will become a medical roadmap. We hope that this medical roadmap can be used as a tool for disseminating several topics: the first one, aligned with the UN’s SDGs, aims at strengthening initiatives to protect cultural heritage, considering that the purpose of our work is to promote knowledge on medical-hospital historical heritage; the second one is to foster critical thinking about the human and non-human agents that dictated the reshaping of the concept of hospital, and the third one is to understand the hospital/environment relationship. 

These spaces of care will be retrieved from various sources, such as museum collections, reports, medical journals, daily newspapers, etc. We can use the roadmap as a legacy of the past to reflect on how this knowledge is present in the contemporary medical practice shaped by social options. This work will be a way to connect people from different backgrounds and to use the history of medicine and urban history to promote critical thinking on the relationship between the Portuguese medical heritage and society in general. 

Registration: This Seminar will be held virtually on Zoom. Please email – for the Zoom link

Details of seminar programme can be found here.


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