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Steven PalmerSteven Palmer will deliver his free public lecture “Miracles in Modern Medicine c. 1967: the Film that Made Thousands Faint,” on Thursday, Jan. 17.

Ground-breaking 1967 film on medical procedures subject of lecture

Over the six months of the 1967 Montreal world’s fair, some 2.5 million people watched Miracles in Modern Medicine, a multimedia show at the Meditheatre; 20,000 of them fainted.

History professor Steven Palmer will discuss the impact of the original production, which combined footage of cutting-edge medical procedures with actors performing on sets dressed with real hospital equipment, in his free public lecture, “Miracles in Modern Medicine c. 1967: the Film that Made Thousands Faint,” at 6 p.m. Thursday, Jan. 17, in the Performance Hall, SoCA Armouries.

As part of his talk, Dr. Palmer will screen a pristine version of the 19-minute film, which features the first-ever explicit depiction of a live birth seen by a North American mass public, and footage of open-heart and brain surgery.

From 2006 to 2016, Palmer was the Canada Research Chair in the History of International Health. He has just completed a feature-length documentary, called Ghost Artist, that explores the art history of the Expo 67 film and the creative networks of its maker, Robert Cordier, at the time a New York-based poet, theatre director, and performance artist.

The Humanities Research Group presents Thursday’s event as part of its Martin Wesley Lecture Series.