Getting to Grips with Difficult Histories in Medical Museums

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Historical medical collections contain provocative and often disturbing objects, from surgical tools to human remains. Medical museums around the world, established centuries ago for the education of medical students, contain extensive collections including these kinds of materials. The long history of medical museums also includes ‘popular’ anatomical displays intended to entertain the public, although there are few remaining traces of these activities. The new medical and health humanities programme is a special focus, offered within the structure of the history master’s programme, and will include an introductory course, a seminar led by guest lecturers presenting their latest research, and two new courses, ‘Knowing by Sensing’ and ‘Objects of Knowledge’. Interest in object-based learning is rising in the Netherlands, and handling rooms have become a key feature in university museum renovations, including the Utrecht University Museum and the Allard Pierson Museum and institute for cultural heritage collections at the University of Amsterdam.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationObject-Based Learning for Health and Wellbeing
Subtitle of host publicationExploring Material Connections
EditorsThomas Kador, Helen Chatterjee
Number of pages10
ISBN (Electronic)9780429425868
ISBN (Print)9781138388048
Publication statusPublished - 2020


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