Animal roles and traces in the history of medicine, c1880-1980

Cassidy, Angela, Mason Dentinger, Rachel, Schoefert, Kathryn and Woods, Abigail (2017) Animal roles and traces in the history of medicine, c1880-1980. BJHS: Themes, 2 . pp. 11-33. ISSN 2058-850X

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Animal roles and traces in the history of medicine, c1880-1980
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This paper argues for the need to create a more animal-centred history of medicine, in
which animals are considered not simply as the backdrop for human history, but as medical
subjects important in and of themselves. Drawing on the tools and approaches of animal
and human–animal studies, it seeks to demonstrate, via four short historical vignettes, how
investigations into the ways that animals shaped and were shaped by medicine enables us to
reach new historical understandings of both animals and medicine, and of the relationships
between them. This is achieved by turning away from the much-studied fields of experimental
medicine and public health, to address four historically neglected contexts in which diseased
animals played important roles: zoology/pathology, parasitology/epidemiology, ethology/ psychiatry, and wildlife/veterinary medicine. Focusing, in turn, on species that rarely feature in the history of medicine – big cats, tapeworms, marsupials and mustelids – which were studied, respectively, within the zoo, the psychiatric hospital, human–animal communities and the countryside, we reconstruct the histories of these animals using the traces that they left on the medical-historical record.

Keywords:history, medicine, veterinary medicine, animals
Subjects:V Historical and Philosophical studies > V380 History of Science
Divisions:College of Arts
ID Code:41494
Deposited On:17 Jul 2020 08:26

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