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A Transnational History of Catholic Medical Missions and Social Change
A Short History of Autoimmunity
Autoimmune diseases, which affect 5 to 10 percent of the population, are as unpredictable in their course as they are paradoxical in their cause. They produce persistent suffering as they follow a drawn-out, often lifelong, pattern of remission and recurrence. Multiple sclerosis, lupus, rheumatoid arthritis, and type 1 diabetes—the diseases considered in this book—are but a handful of the conditions that can develop when the immune system goes awry. Intolerant Bodies is a unique collaboration between Ian Mackay, one of the prominent founders of clinical immunology, and Warwick Anderson, a leading historian of twentieth-century biomedical science. The authors narrate the changing scientific understanding of the cause of autoimmunity and explore the significance of having a disease in which one’s body turns on itself. The book unfolds as a biography of a relatively new concept of pathogenesis, one that was accepted only in the 1950s. In their description of the onset, symptoms, and course of autoimmune diseases, Anderson and Mackay quote from the writings of Charles Dickens, Edgar Allan Poe, Joseph Heller, Flannery O’Connor, and other famous people who commented on or grappled with autoimmune disease. The authors also assess the work of the dedicated researchers and physicians who have struggled to understand the mysteries of autoimmunity. Connecting laboratory research, clinical medicine, social theory, and lived experience, Intolerant Bodies reveals how doctors and patients have come to terms, often reluctantly, with this novel and puzzling mechanism of disease causation.
From Spiritism and Occultism to Psychical Research and Metapsychics in France, 1853–1931
Séances were wildly popular in France between 1850 and 1930, when members of the general public and scholars alike turned to the wondrous as a means of understanding and explaining the world. Sofie Lachapelle explores how five distinct groups attempted to use and legitimize séances: spiritists, who tried to create a new “science” concerned with the spiritual realm and the afterlife; occultists, who hoped to connect ancient revelations with contemporary science; physicians, psychiatrists, and psychologists, who developed a pathology of supernatural experiences; psychical researchers, who drew on the unexplained experiences of the public to create a new field of research; and metapsychists, who attempted to develop a new science of yet-to-be understood natural forces. Lachapelle examines the practices, aims, and level of success of these five disciplines, paying special attention to how they interacted with each other and with the world of mainstream science. Their practitioners regarded mystical phenomena worthy of serious study; most devotees—with notable exceptions of physicians, psychiatrists, and psychologists—also meant to challenge conventional science in general and French science in particular. Through these stories, Lachapelle illuminates the lively relationship between science and the supernatural in late nineteenth- and early twentieth-century France and relates why this relationship ultimately led to the marginalization of psychical research and metapsychics. An enlightening and entertaining narrative that includes colorful people like "Allan Kardec"—a pseudonymous former mathematics teacher from Lyon who wrote successful works on the science of the séance and what happened after death—Investigating the Supernatural reveals the rich and vibrant diversity of unorthodox beliefs and practices that existed at the borders of the French scientific culture in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries.
A Lifetime of Stories
Scientist of the Old South
Of the many books written over the past century about the Old South and the American Civil War, a very few explore the scientific history of the South or the medical history of the war itself. In the first volume of this impressive biography of Joseph Jones, Mr. Breeden does much to illuminate the development of scientific thought and of medicine in the nineteenth-century South.
Jones was far in advance of most of his fellow physicians. The thoroughness of his research, the tenacity of his effort, and the brilliance of his findings won him respect while he was still a very young scholar. When the war came, he showed himself fiercely patriotic as a soldier but coldly empirical as a scientific investigator of many infectious diseases. In the course of the biography the author illumines the development of modern medicine in this country and the state of the nation's medical schools in the middle of the nineteenth century.
The greater part of this volume is devoted to Jones's wartime service, which was mainly behind the battle lines in the hospitals and prison camps. The growth of the problem of gangrene among the wounded -- a horrifying result of overcrowding and lack of sanitation -- is examined in particularly telling detail; the ravaging of the Andersonville prison camp by this and other diseases was the subject of some of Jones's most controversial research, and his written report as a reluctant witness in the trial of the Southerners held responsible. At the outset of the war, Joseph Jones was an energetic and well trained young doctor with considerable experience in teaching and research; by its end he was perhaps the foremost expert on infectious diseases in the South or in the nation.
Vol. 55 (2000) through current issue
The journal covers a broad range of topics in medical history and related subjects. While recognizing the value of medical history as historically conceptualized, JHMAS also aims to publish papers that cross disciplines, traditional international boundaries, and historiographic categories.
Media, Medicine, and Morals in the American "Obesity Epidemic”
In the past decade, obesity has emerged as a major public health concern in the United States and abroad. At the federal, state, and local level, policy makers have begun drafting a range of policies to fight a war against fat, including body-mass index (BMI) report cards, “snack taxes,” and laws to control how fast food companies market to children. As an epidemic, obesity threatens to weaken the health, economy, and might of the most powerful nation in the world. In Killer Fat, Natalie Boero examines how and why obesity emerged as a major public health concern and national obsession in recent years. Using primary sources and in-depth interviews, Boero enters the world of bariatric surgeries, Weight Watchers, and Overeaters Anonymous to show how common expectations of what bodies are supposed to look like help to determine what sorts of interventions and policies are considered urgent in containing this new kind of disease. Boero argues that obesity, like the traditional epidemics of biological contagion and mass death, now incites panic, a doomsday scenario that must be confronted in a struggle for social stability. The “war” on obesity, she concludes, is a form of social control. Killer Fat ultimately offers an alternate framing of the nation’s obesity problem based on the insights of the “Health at Every Size” movement.
histoire des services de santé au Québec et au Canada
Sages-femmes, religieuses, sœurs hospitalières, bénévoles, infirmières de la Croix-Rouge, de colonie, militaires, en psychiatrie, assistantes sociales et professionnelles de la santé sont ici sujets de l’histoire dans le large champ des services de santé au Québec et au Canada. Plus qu’un sujet, il est ici question d’une extraordinaire caste. Soucieux de fermer le fossé linguistique qui divisa non seulement la pratique, mais aussi l’historiographie de la médecine au Canada et au Québec, l’ouvrage collige des recherches récentes dans le champ historique de la santé réalisées par des historiennes et des historiens francophones et anglophones.
Une invitation à découvrir sur plus d’un siècle la place prédominante de plusieurs générations de femmes qui ont participé activement au développement du système de santé au Québec et au Canada.
The Civil War and the Rise of American Medical Science
Nearly two-thirds of the Civil War's approximately 750,000 fatalities were caused by disease--a staggering fact for which the American medical profession was profoundly unprepared. In the years before the war, training for physicians in the United States was mostly unregulated, and medical schools' access to cadavers for teaching purposes was highly restricted. Shauna Devine argues that in spite of these limitations, Union army physicians rose to the challenges of the war, undertaking methods of study and experimentation that would have a lasting influence on the scientific practice of medicine.
Though the war's human toll was tragic, conducting postmortems on the dead and caring for the wounded gave physicians ample opportunity to study and develop new methods of treatment and analysis, from dissection and microscopy to new research into infectious disease processes. Examining the work of doctors who served in the Union Medical Department, Devine sheds new light on how their innovations in the midst of crisis transformed northern medical education and gave rise to the healing power of modern health science.
A Malady of the Whole Body
While premodern poets and preachers viewed leprosy as a “disease of the soul,” physicians in the period understood it to be a “cancer of the whole body.” In this innovative study, medical historian Luke Demaitre explores medical and social perspectives on leprosy at a time when judicious diagnosis could spare healthy people from social ostracization and help the afflicted get a license to beg. Extending his inquiry from the first century to late in the eighteenth century, Demaitre draws on translations of academic treatises and archival records to illuminate the professional standing, knowledge, and conduct of the practitioners who struggled to move popular perceptions of leprosy beyond loathing and pity. He finds that, while not immune to social and cultural perceptions of the leprous as degenerate, and while influenced by their own fears of contagion, premodern physicians moderated society's reactions to leprosy and were dedicated to the well-being of their patients.