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History of Psychiatry Talks Online

Lectures and conferences are all very well, but space, time and financial restraints often prevent us from getting to as many as we'd like. Step in the podcast, then, making a number of recent events available to everyone with an internet connection!

First up is English Heritage's Disability History: Voices and Sources event, associated with their new web resource which we blogged about at the end of last year. Footage of the conference has been edited into three short films, to raise awareness of the existence and importance of disability history. The first film, Disabled People Make History, explores both the contemporary projects through which disabled people are exploring their own heritage, as well as how disabled people in the past have helped to shape and change our social history. Engaging with the Historic Environment looks at the way disabled people have shaped and influenced buildings, just as buildings have impacted on them, from medical institutions to factories, from streets to palaces. Finally, the films look at the types of Archives and Sources that are available to explore disability history (look out for us in this last one!). You can watch all three films here: www.english-heritage.org.uk

Meanwhile, a symposium on the history of occupational therapy in June, held at Oxford Brookes University, has also been made available online. The event - Therapy and Empowerment – Coercion and Punishment: Historical and Contemporary Perspectives on Labour and Occupational Therapy - invited perspectives from historians and occupational therapists, leading to some exciting discussions over the value and future of occupational therapy. Of particular interest was Jennifer Laws' talk combining historical case studies from the York Retreat with her observations on the value of informal, as well as formal, relationships and skills within a modern OT department. Monika Ankele, meanwhile, offered some comments on patients' views of nineteenth-century labour therapy, and the ways in which this conflicted with, as well as complemented, medical opinions. All the talks, historical and contemporary, are available on the Pulse Projects website. The site is regularly updated with new recordings, and many more can be found on the 'Conferences' page.

Museum events are also increasingly finding their way online. At the forefront of this in the field of psychology is the Freud Museum, who have been putting their sold out lectures on itunes for over a year. You'll need to have itunes to download the podcasts, but with talks like Hysteria, heredity and anti-Semitism on offer, it's certainly worth the while. For a full list, see the Freud Museum's itunes site, linked from the Museum's Events Page (where you can access recent talks direct).