Animal roles and traces in the history of medicine, c1880-1980
Mason Dentinger, R
Cambridge University Press (CUP) for British Society for the History of Science
COPYRIGHT: © British Society for the History of Science 2017. This is an Open Access article, distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution licence (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/), which permits unrestricted re-use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.
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. Focussing, 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.
The research that informed this article was supported by a Wellcome Trust-funded programme of research, ‘One medicine? Investigating human and animal disease’ (ref 092719/Z/10/A, 2011-16, PI: Woods), a Wellcome Medical Humanities Research Fellowship, ‘Managing bovine TB in the UK: a disease at the intersections of the human, owned and wild' (ref 101540/A/13/Z, 2013-17, PI: Cassidy), and by the Gates Cambridge Trust and the Arts and Humanities Research Council (PhD studentship: Schoefert).
This is the author accepted manuscript. The final version is available from Cambridge University Press via the DOI in this record.
Published online: 20 March 2017