The Caribbean and the Medical Imagination, 1764–1834
Slavery, Disease and Colonial Modernity
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Part of Cambridge Studies in Romanticism
- Author: Emily Senior, Birkbeck College, University of London
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During the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, the Caribbean was known as the 'grave of Europeans'. At the apex of British colonialism in the region between 1764 and 1834, the rapid spread of disease amongst colonist, enslaved and indigenous populations made the Caribbean notorious as one of the deadliest places on earth. Drawing on historical accounts from physicians, surgeons and travellers alongside literary works, Emily Senior traces the cultural impact of such widespread disease and death during the Romantic age of exploration and medical and scientific discovery. Focusing on new fields of knowledge such as dermatology, medical geography and anatomy, Senior shows how literature was crucial to the development and circulation of new medical ideas, and that the Caribbean as the hub of empire played a significant role in the changing disciplines and literary forms associated with the transition to modernity.Read more
- Provides the first substantial study of colonial Caribbean literatures in the context of the high rates of disease and death in the region
- Develops a connection between the field of medical humanities, the history of medicine and colonial Caribbean literatures
- Draws on a wide range of resources from first-hand accounts of local physicians and travellers to drama, fiction and poetry
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- Date Published: March 2018
- format: Adobe eBook Reader
- isbn: 9781108271554
- contains: 6 b/w illus.
- availability: This ISBN is for an eBook version which is distributed on our behalf by a third party.
Table of Contents
Communicating disease: literature and medicine in the Atlantic World
Part I. Health, Geography and Aesthetics:
1. 'What new forms of death': the poetics of disease and cure
2. The diagnostics of description: medical topography and the colonial picturesque
Part II. Colonial Bodies:
3. Skin, textuality and colonial feeling
4. 'A Seasoned Creole' and 'a Citizen of the World': White West Indians and Atlantic medical knowledge
Part III. Revolution and Abolition:
5. The 'intimate union of medicine and magic': Obeah, revolution and colonial modernity
Afterword: colonial modernities and after abolition.
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