Introduction
in Leprosy and colonialism
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This introduction presents an overview of the key concepts discussed in the subsequent chapters of this book. The book investigates the history of leprosy in eighteenth-century Suriname and the early colonial framing of the disease in the context of the slave economy. It describes 'white' medical perspectives and practices as contrasted with a bottom-up perspective of 'black' beliefs and practices. The book presents a reorganization of leprosy care in a modernizing colonial state. Modernization included both an emphasis on medical treatment and humanitarian care in new leprosy asylums and a new political accommodation in which the Protestants joined the Catholics in leprosy care. The book also investigates the care and treatment of leprosy in the modern era and questions how and to what extent disciplining sufferers in modern asylums took place and succeeded.

Leprosy and colonialism

Suriname under Dutch rule, 1750– 1950

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