Wellcome F. Nightingale and Sir H. Verney; Claydon House

Locating Health:

Historical Perspectives on Human Care
1800-1948 - Call for Papers



Friday 11 January 2019




A22, Humanities Building, University Park



Online Registration


Is this for you?

This one-day workshop seeks to bring together researchers with an interest in the history and representations of healthcare, medicine, nursing, hospitals, and public health in the UK between 1800 and 1948, with a particular focus on local and regional histories.

Over the course of the nineteenth century, healthcare became increasingly organised, centralised and professionalised, paving the way for the reforms of the twentieth century leading to a national healthcare system. But this process was piecemeal and haphazard, often dependent on local and even individual initiatives. Hospitals were funded by local subscriptions; reforms such as the introduction of professional nurses, district nursing, and improvements to workhouse infirmaries occurred on a local basis, and spread only gradually.

As a result, the experiences of patients, nurses, doctors and other care practitioners differed significantly according to geographical location, as well as by class, wealth, and gender. This workshop seeks to highlight these local and regional differences and experiences in order to build up a more textured, nuanced picture of the development of healthcare in the industrial age.

This workshop is the first of a series to be held arising from the AHRC-funded project ‘Florence Nightingale Comes Home for 2020’, which examines the influence of Nightingale’s upbringing in the Midlands on her work and ideas. This first workshop invites contributions from a wide range of scholars in order to develop insights into broader histories of health and care in a regional perspective. 

Themes for Discussion:

  • How can localised studies of historical health and care contribute to a broader understanding of the state of health and healthcare in the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries?
  • How did standards of, and access to healthcare vary according to regional differences? How did patient experiences differ by region?
  • How was healthcare delivered in the home? How did this differ from its delivery in institutional environments? Were there significant overlaps between conceptions of health at home and in institutions?
  • How can studies of individual institutions, such as workhouse infirmaries, hospitals, and nursing homes, contribute to broader regional and national histories of health?
  • How did hospital nursing, district nursing and women’s involvement in healthcare develop differently in different areas?
  • How did connections and divisions between the rural and the urban inform healthcare?
  • How did representations of health vary across localities? How might we better understand these regional cultures of health?

Conference essentials

Location Map (PDF)


Contact the Organiser

Richard Bates

Keynote speakers

Professor Christine Hallett (University of Huddersfield)

Submit an Abstract:

An abstract of no more than 300 words along with a short 1-2 page CV should be sent to by Friday 16 November 

A limited number of travel bursaries are available for travel withing the UK on application.


Arts and Humanites Research Council

The workshop is fully funded as part of the AHRC Research Grant-funded project 'Florence Nightingale Comes Home for 2020: an historico-literary analysis of her family life, grant ref AH/R00014X/1





The University of Nottingham
University Park

telephone: +44 (0) 115 951 5151