Article

Medical Film and Television: An Alternative Path to the Cultures of Biomedicine

Timothy Boon

in The Oxford Handbook of the History of Medicine

Published in print August 2011 | ISBN: 9780199546497
Published online September 2012 | | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/oxfordhb/9780199546497.013.0034

Series: Oxford Handbooks in History

 Medical Film and Television: An Alternative Path to the Cultures of Biomedicine

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This article is concerned with the triangular territory between biomedicine, relevant moving image media production, and lay people — sometimes cinematic subjects, sometimes patients, and sometimes audiences. The examples quoted — mainly British — arise from the period stretching from the late nineteenth century up to the 1960s. The significant costs and effort involved in producing medical films and programmes make their existence in certain times and places particularly interesting evidence for the terrain of biomedicine in the past. The three modes of medical film and television are discussed and they stand for different aspects of biomedicine. This article provides an understanding of how biomedicine came to be made and used and gives access to the politics and social attitudes of participants in interesting ways. The coverage of each mode of film-making is concentrated in the decade of its emergence.

Keywords: biomedicine; media; medical films; television; film-making

Article.  8506 words. 

Subjects: History ; Social and Cultural History

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