Early Modern Exchanges


'Trust Me' - A Symposium on the Language of Medical Expertise and Imposture in English, 1400-1900

25 May 2018, 9:30 am–6:00 pm

Trust Me symposium image

‘Trust Me’ is an interdisciplinary symposium on the long history of medical publicity. How did medical practitioners craft a language to cultivate confidence in their knowledge and abilities? We hope to trace how the assurances (and overassurances) of expertise—as expressed in mountebanks’ medicine shows, print medical advertising, bedside manner, and training literature—adapted to new knowledge paradigms, media technologies, and regulatory regimes to win that trust of prospective patients and skeptical authorities. How did this language of medical publicity circulate? How was this language translated into social life and the popular imagination?

Event Information

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Institute of Advanced Studies


Institute of Advanced Studies
UCL, Gower St
United Kingdom

M. A. Katritzky  (Barbara Wilkes Research Fellow in Theatre Studies, Open University) will deliver the plenary lecture, 'Performing medical harangues in early modern Britain and beyond'. 

Participants will include:

  • Elma Brenner (Wellcome Collection)
  • Joe Stadolnik (UCL) 
  • Sarah Mayo (University of Georgia/UCL)
  • Genice Ngg (Singapore University of Social Sciences)
  • Alannah Tomkins (Keele University) 
  • Jeni Buckley (Warden Park Academy) 
  • Emily Senior (Birkbeck)
  • Cara Dobbing (Leicester)

This symposium was organized as part of the 'Lies' research thread at the IAS by Joe Stadolnik, in partnership with Dr Elma Brenner and the Wellcome Collection. 

All welcome. A preliminary programme is available to download. All attendees are required to register.