Contagion: Historical and Cultural Studies

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Alison Bashford, Claire Hooker
Routledge, 2001 - Medical - 240 pages
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In the age of HIV, antibiotic-resistant bacteria, the Ebola Virus and BSE, metaphors and experience of contagion are a central concern of government, biomedicine and popular culture.

Contagion explores cultural responses of infectious diseases and their biomedical management over the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. It also investigates the use of 'contagion' as a concept in postmodern reconceptualisations of embodied subjectivity.

The essays are written from within the fields of cultural studies, biomedical history and critical sociology. The contributors examine the geographies, policies and identities which have been produced in the massive social effort to contain diseases. They explore both social responses to infectious diseases in the past, and contemporary theoretical and biomedical sites for the study of contagion.

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About the author (2001)

ALISON BASHFORD is a Medical Historian based at the University of Sydney, Australia. She has published on the history of public health and colonialism in the modern period, and on gender and medicine. Books include "Imperial Hygiene (2004), Purity and Pollution: Gender, Embodiment and Victorian Medicine" (1998) and "Isolation: Places and Practices of Exclusion," co-edited with Carolyn Strange (2003). Her current projects are an intellectual history of the problem of world population in the first half of the twentieth century and an international history of eugenics, to be edited with Philippa Levine.

Claire Hooker is the author of Contagion: Historical and Cultural Studies. She is a historian of science, medicine, and public health, and is a senior research associate in the department of gender studies at the University of Sydney.

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