Medicine and Health Drift 13, Rm. 003 Contributed Papers
24 Jul 2019 04:00 PM - 06:00 PM(Europe/Amsterdam)
20190724T1600 20190724T1800 Europe/Amsterdam Global Medicine Drift 13, Rm. 003 History of Science Society 2019
The Malay Kitab Tibb at the Intersection of Malay Medical Practices, Islamisation of Knowledge, and Colonial MedicineView Abstract
Contributed Paper 04:00 PM - 04:30 PM (Europe/Amsterdam) 2019/07/24 14:00:00 UTC - 2019/07/24 14:30:00 UTC
A recent exhibition of medical manuscripts at the Islamic Arts Museum Malaysia (IAMM) entitled Al-Tibb: Healing Traditions in Islamic Medical Manuscripts successfully raised awareness of traditional healing among Malays featuring the museum’s collection of Malay medical and divination manuscripts. Malay medicine and traditional healing are known to be a form of sacred knowledge and art that is usually passed down from one generation to another or to a trusted apprentice. The practice comprises using natural resources, spiritual practices, divination approaches, and Quranic verse recitations. Manuscripts detailing this medical knowledge were still being produced and used when the British came to colonize the Malay Peninsula in the late nineteenth century. The start of concerted British efforts to understand the medical history and circumstances of the Malay peninsula in order to better extract resources saw efforts to collect local knowledge, prompting colonial administrators such as Richard Winstedt, John Gimlette and W. W. Skeat to record their experiences and perceptions of Malay medical practices inscribed in written manuals known as Kitab Tibb Melayu (Malay Book of Medicine) and Kitab Faal or Kitab Ramalan (Books on Divination). Contrary to seeing Malay medical practices solely as part of traditional medicine, this paper situates Malay medical manuscripts or Kitab Tibb at the intersection of Malay, Islamic and colonial medicine. This paper will present some preliminary findings on situating the Malay Kitab Tibb in the fast changing medical and colonial environment of Malaya in the late nineteenth century.
Sandra Khor Manickam
Department Of History, Erasmus University Rotterdam
Siti Marina Mohd. Maidin
Islamic Arts Museum Malaysia
Local Lives, Global Networks: Disease, Medicine, and the Entangled Histories of Assam Tea Plantations (1900-1930s)View Abstract
Contributed Paper 04:30 PM - 05:00 PM (Europe/Amsterdam) 2019/07/24 14:30:00 UTC - 2019/07/24 15:00:00 UTC
In making an attempt to explore the “medical incentives” and the “interests of the capitalist agencies” involved in the project in locating the vectors of diseases prevailed in the Assam tea plantations of British India, the paper argues that ideas of medical welfare was instrumental both in “building a network of tropical medicine with its professional researchers and contributed to the oppressive ‘plantation paternalism’ in the frontier colony”. To elaborate the histories of such entanglements, my paper will firstly look at the way through which the rise of metropolitan scientific institutions came to be prioritized. This will be followed by looking at how the question of transmitting and circulating of the “scientific knowledge” provided the impetus to the formation of the “cadre” of medical researchers. The third section of the paper will be engaged in providing examples of the interplay of global and local in the rise of supposedly objective scientific practices which transformed the locally lived lives of the plantation system in the global network of tropical medicine. In tracing all these trajectories, I take the reader into the question of how the growing concern about epidemics in the tea plantations of Assam eliminated the boundary of once considered the cultural and racial basis of explaining the epidemiological character of diseases for the interest of the capital.
Presenters Sudip Saha
Department Of History, North-Eastern Hill University, India.
A Global Rumor and the History of Science: The Case of a Fake Snakebite Prize That Connected Brazil, the French, and the British Empires (1880-1914)View Abstract
Contributed Paper 05:00 PM - 05:30 PM (Europe/Amsterdam) 2019/07/24 15:00:00 UTC - 2019/07/24 15:30:00 UTC
Informed by the recent achievements of bacteriology, doctors and scientists started researches on the last decades of the 19th century aiming to find a therapeutic serum against snakebites. Among then, one can mention Albert Calmette, a French doctor in duty in Indochina, and Vital Brazil, a Brazilian doctor based in São Paulo. Other than the similarity of their intellectual projects, they had another point in common: both thought they could win a scientific prize established by the Government of India for the discovery of a cure against snakebites. Working on antidotes for more than 20 years, Calmette and Vital Brazil would indeed answer the general idea of the prize and their contributions to the field are recognized until today. However, neither of them ever won this prize, and that happened for a simple reason: this prize never existed, it was a rumor of global dimensions. In my presentation, I would like to examine its origins and to discuss how it shaped the research of these two doctors. To do this, I will examine their scientific works and their correspondence with British and Indian authorities. In conclusion, I will argue that, in despite of its fakeness, the prize connected people in Brazil with others based in the French or British Empires and, because of that, this event can shed some light on current debates on the field of the history of science, especially on its interactions with the global history approach.
Matheus Alves Duarte Da Silva
Phd Student - Ecole Des Hautes Etudes En Sciences Sociales
Same Story, Different Setting: Using Goiter to Understand Calls for American Science at the Turn of the Nineteenth CenturyView Abstract
Contributed Paper 05:30 PM - 06:00 PM (Europe/Amsterdam) 2019/07/24 15:30:00 UTC - 2019/07/24 16:00:00 UTC
In 1800 American physician Benjamin Smith Barton (1766-1815) published a book-length treatise titled on goiter and North America and dedicated it to his friend and mentor Johann Frederick Blumenbach (1752-1840). Within its pages Barton takes the seemingly niche topic of goiter or "swelled neck" and makes an elegant case for the pursuit of science in the United States. While many scholars have rightly pointed to the patriotic arguments Americans made for promoting scientific, Barton's work goes beyond such concerns. In addition to political and professional standing American men of science believed that their unique situation could bring novel information to the world stage, not as an abnormality but a key point on a continuum. Barton's book suggested that a lack of American knowledge could allow for the perpetuation of errors in the scientific literature. By the late eighteenth century goiter was a disease of the mountains. Theories differed as to what exactly caused that ailment but medical and travel literature agreed that inhabitants (especially female inhabitants) of mountain valleys were threatened by goiter and the associated mental defects of "cretinism". Barton's personal travel and accounts from colleagues in the United States, however, proved North American goiter to be a western (yet still female) disorder regardless of elevation. The book therefore acts as a corrective to European literature claiming that study of a disease in one location is not sufficient to make universal claims. In an era of universal concepts Barton made the case for American inclusion.
Presenters Sarah Naramore
Sewanee: The University Of The South
Islamic Arts Museum Malaysia
Department of History, Erasmus University Rotterdam
Department of History, North-Eastern Hill University, India.
Phd student - Ecole des Hautes Etudes en Sciences Sociales
Sewanee: the University of the South
SUNY Oswego
Johns Hopkins University / Princeton University
Stony Brook University
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