In the Shadow of Historiography : Toward Another History of Healthcare

Annual Meeting of CAHN University of Ottawa 9th-11th June 2022

The history of healthcare was for a long time devoted only to the history of doctors and their inventions and theories. It was not until the 1970s that a history of health emerged that at first focused on other caregivers, professional or not, then on patients and others, and finally, at the beginning of the 21st century, it took in all the rest that had been forgotten.  Thus it is only recently that a number of actors in the healthcare field have taken their legitimate place in the historiography.  And the work is still far from being completed.

Many areas needing more investigation are those of women, racialized and indigenous peoples, non-orthodox caregivers, people suffering from physical or psychiatric ailments, and others who have not found their rightful place in the history of healthcare. The history of nursing is particularly representative of this gap in the historiography. Long centred on prominent figures in nursing such as Jeanne Mance, Florence Nightingale, Mary Agnes Snively or Léonie Chaptal, it is now opening up to critiquing these illustrious figures as well as including others in nursing who have until now been ignored, purposefully or not.

It is within this context of historiographic revitalization, which takes in the history of nursing but which also includes the wider history of health – an area of research that is itself more inclusive and interdisciplinary ‒ that we wish to call for submissions for the next annual meeting of the Canadian Association for the History of Nursing. We are inviting therefore all researchers, whatever their primary field of study, who are interested in a fresh look at the history of healthcare through exploring uncharted territory or using unexpected approaches, to submit a proposal. The aim is to support novel research in the history of nursing and the history of health more broadly by inviting the exploration and development of new avenues, approaches, and methods, as well as bringing to light the voices of those who have been silenced until now.

In short, at this meeting that is interdisciplinary and open to all, we hope to delve into the shadow of historiography of healthcare to bring justice to those who in the past have contributed so much to the support, health, or simply the comfort of the suffering and the vulnerable.

The proposals, which should contain a title, an abstract of a maximum of 500 words, and a short biography of the authors, should be submitted to [email protected] before 31 December 2021.

 Note that communications could be done in person or by videoconference.

: Call for News: CAHN-ACHN Spring 2020 Newsletter

We salute our health professionals during this crisis, especially our nurses. We also hope that you and yours are well.

We’re calling for news for the CAHN-ACHN Spring 2020 newsletter. Our theme for this issue is frontline nurses in epidemics, which seems fitting for these times. If you have an idea for an article or story about this epidemic or a previous one, please pitch it to us or send us the article/story. Photos are also very welcome.

We’re also asking for conference news. If you were at Florence 2020 or in Brazil, we’d like to hear about your experiences. And we’ll also be posting news about conferences that have been postponed, so if you’ve had to postpone a conference you’ve organized, please let us know.

If you’ve published a new book or article, or know of one that’s of interest to our readers, please send us that info, too. And if you’ve reviewed a new book, perhaps you could shorten your review and send it to us.

The deadline for submissions is Monday, April 20th, 2020. Submissions are welcome in French or English.

Andrea McKenzie, Communications Manager

Noreen Bolton, Newsletter Editor




The 2019 joint meeting of the Canadian Society for the History of Medicine and the Canadian Association for the History of Nursing will take place June 1-3, 2019 at the University of British Columbia, Vancouver, unceded  xʷməθkʷəy̓əm (Musqueam) territory. In conjunction with the 2019 Congress of the Humanities and Social Sciences, the Programme Committee calls for papers that address the theme of this year’s Congress: “Circles of Conversation.”

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Call for Abstracts!

The Canadian Association for the History of Nursing /Association Canadienne pour l’Histoire du Nursing Annual Conference will be held June 13-15, 2014 at York University, Toronto, Canada.

The theme for the 2014 conference is Local Work, Global Health and the Challenge of Transnational Nursing. The Abstract Committee is particularly interested in papers focusing on nursing in transnational, international and global contexts, but will, of course, welcome papers on all nursing history topics. Please note that the Abstract Committee will consider submissions of panels in addition to individual papers.

The Hannah/AMS Lecture will be delivered by Dr. Juanita De Barros of McMaster University Department of History. Dr. De Barros has authored and edited numerous volumes, including her first monograph Order and Place in a Colonial City: Patterns of Struggle and Resistance in Georgetown, British Guiana, 1889-1924 (McGill-Queen’s University Press, 2002) as well as Health and Medicine in the Circum-Caribbean, 1800-1968 (co-edited with David Wright and Stephen Palmer, Routledge, 2009.) Her current research examines maternal and infant health policy in the British Caribbean.

Please submit your abstract (maximum 250 words) and one-page c.v. for consideration by 15 February 2014 to

N.B. If invited to present at the meeting, the author must undertake to provide a translation of the abstract for the bilingual program book.