Free with Museum admission.
Explore our exhibition Basic Instincts with Museum Curator Kathleen Palmer, who leads a tour for visitors.
When conflict ends on the battlefield, it begins elsewhere. Matthew Green explores how veterans have struggled to adapt to post-war life, examining some of the ways in which we can better support those suffering from psychological injury who undertake the journey from soldier to civilian.
Matthew Green is a London-based journalist who previously spent 14 years working as a foreign correspondent for the Financial Times and Reuters. He was embedded with US Marines during the Iraq invasion and later spent time with US forces deployed in Afghanistan. In 2013, he returned to Britain to write his new book Aftershock: fighting war, surviving trauma and finding peace, which documents the lives of British veterans and their families as they cope with the devastating impact of post-traumatic stress disorder. He blogs about new horizons in trauma therapy at www.matthewgreenjournalism.com. Twitter @Matthew__Green
There will be a book signing following the event. Please bring cash or cheque if you wish to purchase a book.
Artist Annie Ratti will present her latest research on Wilhelm Reich’s investigations into orgone energy and his influence in psychoanalytic treatments of mental illness; developing one aspect of scientific inquiry that might be termed ‘deviant’ or marginal to mainstream science.
Her artistic research into Reich’s theories proceeds from the presumption that a fresh and critical understanding of scientific methods and scientific truth might be achieved by investigating what the scientific community has defined as its other, the unscientific.
Focusing on the processes of knowledge production at the margins of science, her investigation of Reich aims to show the brilliance and strangeness of his work, which while failing to meet the true conditions of the scientific and psychoanalytic communities nonetheless inspired savagely negative reactions from both. She will develop this irony, what it tells about both Reich and his scientific and psychoanalytic criticism; and that in the understanding and insight that were lost in the process of defining his work as non-scientific. The intention is to recover Reich’s insights through the artistic practice, which entails a sympathetic while at the same time critical engagement with his own discoveries.
The artist’s ‘Orgone Accumulator’ pictured will be on display at the Museum on Saturday 7th and Sunday 8th October.
Try your hand at Victorian pill making, wince at sixteenth century forceps and test your surgical skills, with London’s Medical Museums. At this free marketplace discover the more surprising side of London’s medical history. Handle objects from centuries past and join workshops from suturing to spoken word poetry.
Free, drop-in, open to all.
Saturday 14th & Sunday 15th October 2017
This conference brings together psychoanalytic thinkers and fashion experts to offer fresh perspectives in fashion thinking.
Speakers will address a wide range of themes connecting fashion, clothing, style and the body to psychoanalysis, creativity and unconscious emotional life. The conference will also explore the largely neglected role of fashion in clinical and mental health settings – aiming to address the many idiosyncrasies, taboos and paradoxes involved.
The second day will be dedicated to wellbeing and mental health in the context of fashion. Through research and clinical perspectives, it will invite you to unravel two rather paradoxical phenomena: the relative absence of psychology in the fashion world and the apparent absence of fashion in the clinical encounter. The conference will end with a panel discussion on ‘Enclothed cognition’.
SATURDAY 9.30 – 5.00
Fashion Thinking and Psychoanalysis
Zowie Broach (biog)
Valerie Steele (biog)
Freud and Fashion
Claire Pajaczkowska (biog)
In Fashion : Sexual Selection and the Fetish
Anouchka Grose (biog)
Ugliness+Time: Fashion and the Prisoners’ Dilemma
Shaun Cole (biog)
The ‘Great Masculine Renunciation’ Re-assessed
Philip Mann (biog)
The Dandy : Pathological Hero of Modernism
Caroline Evans (biog)
Denise Poiret and the Material Mnemonics of Fashion
SUNDAY 10am – 1.30pm
Fashion, Psychology and the Clinical Encounter
Understanding ‘Empathy by Design’
Katerina Fotopoulou (biog)
Body Imaging: Mentalising and Modifying our Bodily Appearance
Emilia Raczkowska (biog)
‘There Remains the Area of Clothes’ – Enclothed Cognition from the Lab to the Couch
Carolyn Mair, Anouchka Grose, Katerina Fotopoulou, Claire Pajaczkowska and others
Carolyn Mair (biog)
Advance booking required
Join us for a special Lates event with author Wendy Moore to explore the links between mesmerism and anaesthesia.
Medicine, in the early 1800s, was a brutal business. Operations were performed without anaesthesia while conventional treatment relied on leeches, cupping and toxic potions. The most surgeons could offer by way of pain relief was a large swig of brandy.
Into this scene came John Elliotson, the dazzling new hope of the medical world. Charismatic and ambitious, Elliotson was determined to transform medicine from a hodge-podge of archaic remedies into a practice informed by the latest science. In this aim he was backed by Thomas Wakley, founder of the new magazine, The Lancet, and a campaigner against corruption and malpractice.
Then, in the summer of 1837, a French visitor – the self-styled Baron Jules Denis Dupotet – arrived in London to promote an exotic new idea: mesmerism. The mesmerism mania would take the nation by storm but would ultimately split the two friends, and the medical world, asunder – throwing into focus fundamental questions about the fine line between medicine and quackery, between science and superstition.
Wendy’s talk will be followed by a fascinating panel discussion with on hypnosis in current anaesthetic practice, along with a drinks reception. The evening will also offer the opportunity to explore the Brave Faces exhibition and the Anaesthesia Heritage Centre in a private view.
Paul Verhaeghe will give a short lecture, followed by a discussion with Dany Nobus and a Q&A. Ticket holders are invited to stay for a drinks reception.
‘We live in an extremely controlling society in which authority has disappeared … traditional authority is lapsing into brute force … and we ourselves must take the first steps towards creating a new social order.’
This was the trenchant diagnosis by Paul Verhaeghe at the end of his acclaimed book about identity, What About Me? Now he returns to investigate another aspect of our lives under threat: authority.
In Says Who? Verhaeghe examines how authority functions and why we need it in order to develop healthy psyches and strong societies. Going against the laissez-faire ethics of a free-market age, he argues that rather than seeing authority as a source of oppression we should invest in developing it in the places that matter. Only by strengthening the power of horizontal groups within existing social structures, such as in education, the economy, and the political system, can we restore authority to its rightful place. Whether you are a parent or child, teacher or student, employer or employee, Says Who? provides the answers you need.
Tickets £5, £3 concessions & Foundling Friends + Museum admission
Author and historian Hallie Rubenhold sheds new light on the exploitation and abuse of women which transformed the work of artist Joseph Highmore in the 1740s. Part of the Bloomsbury Festival.
Following the literary tradition established by Edgar Allan Poe, Bram Stoker and Mary Shelley, the horror genre in film seeks to elicit physiological and psychological reactions through visual and narrative techniques involving suspense, gore, the macabre and the supernatural. Horror films transfix and terrify audiences in equal measure, unfailingly achieving suspension of disbelief because fear is a universal and powerful emotion.
The role of women in horror movies is especially intriguing because of the ambivalent position occupied by female characters, ranging from victims of violence to perpetrators of dread. In The Question of Lay Analysis (1926), Sigmund Freud wrote, “The sexual life of adult women is a dark continent for psychology.” Even at the end of his life, Freud was preoccupied by a question that never left him: “What do women want?” – the mystery of female subjectivity persisted with the advancement of psychoanalytic thought. It is precisely this perception of ‘the unknown’ that drives much of the unsettling storylines concerning women in horror films.
Relying predominantly on Julia Kristeva’s theory of abjection, we will investigate cinematic representations of female bodies that appear paradoxically fragmented, decayed and impure, as well as wholesome, nurturing and attractive. Kristeva defines horror as a breakdown in meaning caused by the loss of boundaries between self and other. The abject disturbs identity, borders and rules – horror films portraying unclean and taboo elements of the feminine experience reveal the entwined dual system of Eros (beauty, sexual awakening, love, pregnancy) and Thanatos (possession, disease, destruction, death).
Other theoretical constructs in this series will include Freud’s hysteria, Jacques Lacan’s jouissance, and R.D. Laing’s ontological insecurity. Advance viewing is optional, select scenes and montages will be shown during weekly sessions (see filmography below).Content warning: graphic imagery will be presented – viewer discretion is advised.
Week 1 – ADOLESCENCE: Teeth (2007), Carrie (1976), The Exorcist (1973)
Week 2 – IDENTITY: The Ring (2002), Single White Female (1992), The Brøken (2008)
Week 3 – PSYCHOSIS: Black Swan (2010), Whatever Happened to Baby Jane (1962), Rosemary’s Baby (1968)
Week 4 – ECONOMICS: Starry Eyes (2014), The Hunger (1983), American Psycho (2000)
Week 5 – DEMONS: The Entity (1982), Possession (1981), Paranormal Activity (2007)
Week 6 – DEVOURING: Neon Demon (2016), Dans Ma Peau (2002), Eat (2014)
PROJECTIONS is psychoanalysis for film interpretation. PROJECTIONS empowers film spectators to express subjective associations they consider to be meaningful. Expertise in psychoanalytic theory is not necessary – the only prerequisite is the desire to enter and inhabit the imaginary world of film, which is itself a psychoanalytic act. MARY WILD, a Freudian cinephile from Montreal, is the creator of PROJECTIONS.
Shell shock is the phrase coined in World War I to describe what is now commonly referred to as post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Professor Simon Wessely charts the evolution of military psychiatry, reviewing psychological disorders suffered by servicemen and women from 1900 to the present, considering the history of treatment in relation to contemporary medical priorities and health concerns.
Professor Sir Simon Wessely is Professor of Psychological Medicine and Regius Professor of Psychiatry at King’s College London and a Consultant Liaison Psychiatrist at King’s College and the Maudsley Hospitals.His doctorate is in epidemiology, and he has over 700 original publications, with an emphasis on the boundaries of medicine and psychiatry, unexplained symptoms and syndromes, population reactions to adversity, military health, epidemiology and others. He has co-authored books on chronic fatigue syndrome, randomised controlled trials and a history of military psychiatry. Professor Wessely is also President of the Royal Society of Medicine.
A Heavy Reckoning explores the modern reality of medicine and injury in wartime, from the trenches of World War One to the dusty plains of Afghanistan and the rehabilitation wards of Headley Court in Surrey. What are the costs involved in this hardest of journeys back from the brink? Mixing stories of unexpected survival with insights into the frontline of medicine, Emily Mayhew examines the complexities of PTSD, the power and potential of rehabilitation, and how far we have come in saving, healing and restoring the human body.
Dr Emily Mayhew is a military medical historian specialising in the study of severe casualty, its infliction, treatment and long-term outcomes in 20th and 21st century warfare. She is historian in residence in the Department of Bioengineering at Imperial College, and a Research Fellow in the Division of Surgery within the Department of Surgery and Cancer. She is the author of Wounded: From Battlefield to Blighty 1914-1918, which was shortlisted for the Wellcome Prize 2014.
There will be a book signing after the event.
Stay late! Be entertained for the evening at our Medical Open Mic. Watch museums stand-up and hear the weirdest and wildest medical stories as we show off the lighter side of medical history. Children are welcome but some content may not be suitable for young audiences.
£7 per person, book online
Monday 30 October, 9:30-18:00
Tickets £50, £40 concessions & Foundling Friends
In this study day explore similarities in the origins, artistic involvement and philanthropic purpose of two eighteenth-century charitable hospitals – the Foundling Hospital and the Greenwich Royal Hospital for Seamen. Spend the morning at Queen’s House, Royal Museums Greenwich and Old Royal Naval College, moving on to the Foundling Museum in the afternoon. In partnership with Royal Museums Greenwich.