Melissa Dickson, Emilie Taylor-Brown and Sally Shuttleworth
disease in the context of burgeoning global modernities of the long nineteenth century. The concept of ‘modernity’, often defined exclusively by its Western or European model, is of course a relative term, often predicated on a break with the past across social, cultural, political, and economic institutions, and conferred by historians as a means of determining major shifts in orientation.
L. S. Jacyna, in his recent work on medicine and modernism, contends that historians have typically employed this term in such a
received new impetus in the 1890s.
Compulsory segregation still existed between 1863 and 1890, but execution was lax.
Leprosy and colonialism
This chapter examines Dutch debates about leprosy between 1863
and 1890. The debates took place when the threat of a ‘return’ of leprosy to the Netherlands appeared to materialise. This was ironic, since
Dutch policy makers and doctors had to call upon medical expertise
from Suriname at the same time as the Europeans were having medical debates about the validity of a contagionist theory for leprosy. In the
Balance, malleability and anthropology: historical contexts
H. White, Metahistory: The Historical Imagination in Nineteenth-Century Europe (Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press, 1973), p. ix.
S. Susen, The ‘Postmodern Turn’ in the Social Sciences (New York: Springer, 2015), p. 94.
L. Stone, ‘History and post-modernism’, Past and Present
Historiographical and research political reflections
surprise to most people that Denmark and other North
European countries such as, e.g., Sweden had a eugenic past as well.
Newspapers, radio stations, TV, magazines and academic conferences were
continuously asking for interviews and comments and seemed ready to publish
almost anything I had to say about the issue. The interest in eugenics in this
period was prompted by the heavy public and private investments in the mapping
of the human genome in
Daktar Binodbihari Ray Kabiraj and the metaphorics of the
nineteenth-century Ayurvedic body
Projit Bihari Mukharji
Nowhere is this refusal of coevalness more conspicuous today than in overviews of the history of medicine. A 2008 work entitled Medicine and Modernism , for instance, has this to say about the conundrum of the modern: ‘“Modernity” and “modernization” are terms that historians use to refer to the interrelated series of economic, social, and political transformations that occurred in western societies during the period of the long nineteenth century. Urbanization, industrialization, and the spread of market capitalism were
dysgenic to eugenic birth control’, Birth Control Review 2:7 (1935), 2–3;
H.H. Laughlin, ‘Further studies on the historical and legal development of eugenical sterilization in the United States’, Journal of Psycho-Asthenics 41 (1936), 98.
28 See K. Calavita, U.S. Immigration Law and the Control of Labor: 1820–1924
(London: Academic Press, Inc., 1984), pp. 107–13; testimony of H.H. Laughlin,
8 March 1924, in Europe as an Emigrant-Exporting Continent and the United States
as an Immigrant Receiving Nation, U.S. House of Representatives, Committee on
"Experience" and "theory" in debates over forensic knowledge and expertise in early twentieth-century China
practices that supported the legal system of Meiji Japan. The focus of their
interest was legal medicine (hōigaku/fayixue, 法醫學), a branch of scientific
medicine that used medical knowledge to address problems encountered in
the law, including the forensic examination of dead and living bodies.18 Legal
medicine was practiced in Japanese and continental European academic institutes equipped with facilities for the forms of laboratory investigation that had
become a crucial epistemological foundation of scientific medicine by the start
of the twentieth century.19 It was in
, this claim
could be disputed.
Modern leprosy politics in the twentieth century were a Janus head.
On the one side, the politics were based on the latest developments
and fashion in medical views on leprosy: sufferers should be treated as
patients, not as criminals; medical treatment in asylums and in outpatient clinics should be encouraged; and a humane organization of life
in the asylums should be promoted. However, unlike in other colonies,
such as British India or the Dutch East Indies, the idea of compulsory
segregation was never abandoned. Sufferers with non-European
of these attitudes on the population.31 One cannot help but wonder: how did the self-perceptions of these
doctors translate into medical, military, or social policy towards others? What
material impact did this medical discourse have on civilians, on soldiers, on
military organisation? The recent collection War, Trauma, and Medicine in
Germany and Central Europe (1914–1939) focuses specifically on how the war
impacted on the practice, experience, and development of military medicine
in the armies of the Central Powers. The essays in this book
– and heterogeneous, even conflictual within this purified
space – there was another interlocutor present. That was western medicine in all
its ontological modernism.15 (One could add more interlocutors, of course: the
history of European technologies in imperialism, the global claims and authority
of the European natural sciences, global images of weak and unmanly Chinese
bodies, Maoist pragmatics and activism, the Cold Damage/Warm Illnesses contrast stemming from the regional intellectual lineages of those present – one
could go on and on; it was a crowded hospital