Start Date: October 2007 / Completion Date: November 2010
The larger research project is concerned with the introduction, dissemination, reception and use of a range of new technologies in South Southeast and East Asia, with particular reference to colonial and post-colonial India and Vietnam. The technologies involved include bicycles, sewing-machines, typewriters and rice-mills. But within this the project looks at issues of health and disease and the ways in which new technologies – in the workplace, in the home and on the street – impacted on the lives and well-being of the mass of the population of India, or how issues of health were used to promote or to critique modern technology. Factory injuries and deaths, the spread of nutritional diseases like beriberi and the incidence of traffic accidents all form part of this investigation.
A preliminary paper on the topic of ‘Everyday Technology and Everyday Health’ was presented to the History of Medicine Seminar at the University of Warwick on 21 April 2009 and a revised version will be presented at the University of Manchester ion 9 February 2010. This will form the basis for a chapter of Professor Arnold’s forthcoming book on ‘everyday technology’ in India