Richard Bessel – The Violence of Care

Event Date: 16 April 2016
Room B02
Birkbeck Main Building
Birkbeck, University of London
Malet Street
London WC1E 7HX

Department of History, Classics
& Archaeology, Birkbeck University of London presents:

Cultures of Harm in Institutions of Care: Historical & Contemporary Perspectives

In 1921, Dr Montagu Lomax published a searing indictment of Prestwich Asylum exposing an entrenched sub-culture of malpractice, negligence and abuse. Recent historical research has shown that many of the same practices were still taking place at Prestwich fifty years later.[i]

Today, most institutions provide the best possible standards of care. But abuse can still happen. Stafford Hospital, Winterbourne View and the crimes committed by Jimmy Savile are among the more recent examples of how systemic violence and neglect can be visited upon some of society’s most vulnerable individuals in institutions that have been charged with a special duty of care.

This two-day conference will explore the shifting political, socio-economic, cultural and medical influences that have formed and perpetuated cultures of harm in therapeutic and caring environments from the eighteenth century to the present day.

Professor Richard Bessel (York) – The Violence of Care

Introduction by Professor Joanna Bourke (Birkbeck):

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