Maternal Health in the 20th Century: Historical Research in London's Wellcome Library
Improving maternal health was one of the recent Millennium Development Goals, but concerns regarding skilled birth attendants and women’s access to birth control began well before 1990. In this class, students will consider the historical roots of what remain contemporary problems through archival research in London at the Wellcome Library archives, followed by a fall quarter course in Evanston in which they will delve more deeply into these topics.
- This course is taught by Dr. Sarah Rodriguez.
- Students will spend the days before fall quarter in London, England with Dr. Rodriguez completing archival research at the Wellcome Library and exploring the beautiful English city.
- Students’ travel, accommodations, and programming for the trip will be covered in full by the Program in Global Health Studies, generously supported by the Mabie Fund.
- Students accepted to and confirmed for the program are required to both complete the research component in London and enroll in and complete the fall quarter 2020 course GBL_HLTH 310 Supervised Global Health Research: Maternal Health in the 20th Century.
- GBL_HLTH 310 counts as an additional GBL_HLTH course for the major or minor; it does not count as the required international experience.
- This program is open only to declared Global Health Studies majors and minors.
More on the course:
Students will explore the historical roots of contemporary maternal health issues by looking at this broad international concern through a focus on three groups that joined together to work on the concern during the 1960s-1970s: the International Confederation of Midwives (ICM), the International Federation of Obstetrics and Gynecology (FIGO), and the United States Agency for Development (USAID). Specifically, students will examine one of two topics: 1) the Joint Study Committee (JSG), formed between ICM and FIGO in the early 1960s to collaborate on initiatives to address high maternal mortality rates in LMICs, in particular focusing on the standardization of midwifery training; or 2) the grant provided by USAID from 1971 to 1980 to ICM and FIGO to integrate family planning into midwifery training.
The fall quarter seminar class will cover ICM, FIGO, and USAID, as well as discuss historical questions raised by the primary sources viewed at the Wellcome, other primary published sources from the 1960-1970s, and secondary sources relating to the larger topics of maternal health, maternal mortality, safe motherhood, and access to birth control (then commonly called family planning).
TENTATIVE Schedule fOR FALL 2021:
Wednesday, September 8 - Thursday, September 9: Students fly from Chicago to London and attend a welcome dinner at Museum Tavern Bloomsbury.
Friday, September 10: First day in the archives! Students attend a presentation on the history of the library then obtain their library cards and get to work.
Saturday, September 11 - Friday, September 17: Archival research continues throughout the week, along with one or two guest lectures, a medical history walk around London, and visits to one or more medical history museums.
Saturday, September 18: Students fly from London to Chicago.
Applications for this program are currently closed. We are hoping to be able to offer this trip in September 2021, and may open a limited number of additional seats if we are able. However, we are awaiting further guidance from the university on the feasibility of international non-credit travel. Any updates on the program will be circulated in emails to all majors and minors, and in our newsletter.
Stay up-to-date on this and other short term study/research programs offered by the Program in Global Health Studies on our website and through our e-newsletter, The Beat.