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Medicine and Mobilities

Medical beliefs, knowledge, practices and commodities have always been fluid and mobile, though to differing degrees. So too have been the humans who enact 'medicine' and those upon whose bodies medicine acts. This week we will explore the themes of mobility and movement in the history of medicine. We will look at encounters between medical systems; the degree to which medical systems and markets are 'open' or 'closed' to exchange; and the ways in which medicine can become a tool either expediting or excluding human movement.

Required Readings:

Choose a reading from the list below and assess it in terms of whether and how it considers the categories below, and what the lens of 'mobility' tells us about the history and historiography of medicine.

  • Human mobility and the medical encounter;
  • The mobility of medical substances, tools and practices;
  • The mobility of medical ideas, knowledge, and systems.
  • Finally, with your essays in mind, think about what sources and methods the authors have used in your readings.

Warwick Anderson, The cultivation of whiteness : science, health, and racial destiny in Australia Durham : Duke University Press, 2006,

Bivins, Roberta E. (2022) Forgone, not forgotten : DNA fingerprinting, migration control and Britain’s DNA Profiling Pilot Project. Science, Technology and Human Values . (In Press) AND Bivins, Roberta E. (2022) Pilot programmes and postcolonial pivots : pioneering 'DNA Fingerprinting' on Britain's borders. Comparative Studies in Society and History . (In Press)

Anne Fadiman, The Spirit Catches You and You Fall Down: a Hmong child, her American doctors, and the collision of two cultures Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 2012 : NOTE THAT THIS BOOK IS NOT AVAILABLE ONLINE, but only as a hard-copy from the Library or me!

Kristin D Hussey, Imperial Bodies in London: Empire, Mobility, and the Making of British Medicine, 1880–1914 University of Pittsburgh Press, 2021. NOTE THAT THIS BOOK MAY NOT YET BE AVAILABLE ONLINE from our library (it's coming!) but you can borrow a hard-copy from me, or access material similar to several chapters as articles via the Library here: opens in a new window and opens in a new window

Kalle Kananoja, Healing Knowledge in Atlantic Africa: Medical Encounters, 1500–1850. Global Health Histories. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2021. doi:10.1017/9781108868020.

Ruth Rogaski, Hygienic modernity: meanings of health and disease in treaty-port China University of California Press, 2004

Ronit Yoeli-Tlalim. ReOrienting Histories of Medicine : Encounters Along the Silk Roads. England: Bloomsbury Academic, 2021.