Registration Open. Conference – Tele(visualising) Health: TV, Public Health, its Enthusiasts and its Publics
ERC Healthy Self as Body Capital & Centre for History in Public Health, London School of Hygiene and
Tropical Medicine International Conference
27 February – 1 March 2019
Dickens Library, Mary Ward House, 5-7 Tavistock Place, London WC1N 9SN (Please note change of venue)
Please register through Eventbrite
Programme available here
Televisions began to appear in the homes of large numbers of the public in Europe and North America
after World War II. This coincided with a period in which ideas about the public’s health, the problems
that it faced and the solutions that could be offered, were changing. The threat posed by infectious diseases
was receding, to be replaced by chronic conditions linked to lifestyle and individual behaviour.
Public health professionals were enthusiastic about how this new technology and mass advertising could
reach out to individuals in the population with the new message about lifestyle and risk. But it could also act
as a contributory factor to those new public health problems.
How should we understand the relationship between TV and public health? What are the key changes and
continuities over time and place? How does thinking about the relationship between public health and TV
change our understanding of both?
In this three-day conference, we seek to explore questions such as:
• How did the enthusiasm develop for TV within public health?
• How were shifts in public health, problems, policies and practices represented on TV?
• How was TV used to improve or hinder public health?
• What aspects of public health were represented on TV, and what were not?
• How did the public respond to health messages on TV?
• What were the perceived limitations of TV as a mass medium for public health?
• In what way was TV different from other forms of mass media in relation to public health?
• How were institutions concerned with the public’s health present – and staged – on TV broadcasts?
The conference is organized by the ERC funded research group BodyCapital, and hosted by the
Centre for History in Public Health, London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine.
The healthy self as body capital: individuals, market-based societies and body politics in visual twentieth century
Europe (BodyCapital) project is directed by Christian Bonah at the Université de Strasbourg in collaboration with
Anja Laukötter at the Max Planck Institute for Human Development, Berlin. The project is funded by the European
Research Council (ERC) under the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme (Advanced
Grant agreement No 694817).