Matching Items (5)

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Reimagination and Retaliation: Medical Technology, Orientalism, and Smallpox Variolation in the British Eighteenth and Nineteenth Centuries

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The nineteenth-century invention of smallpox vaccination in Great Britain has been well studied for its significance in the history of medicine as well as the ways in which it exposes

The nineteenth-century invention of smallpox vaccination in Great Britain has been well studied for its significance in the history of medicine as well as the ways in which it exposes Victorian anxieties regarding British nationalism, rural and urban class struggles, the behaviors of women, and animal contamination. Yet inoculation against smallpox by variolation, vaccination’s predecessor and a well-established Chinese medical technique that was spread from east to west to Great Britain, remains largely understudied in modern scholarly literature. In the early 1700s, Lady Mary Wortley Montagu, credited with bringing smallpox variolation to Great Britain, wrote first about the practice in the Turkish city of Adrianople and describes variolation as a “useful invention,” yet laments that, unlike the Turkish women who variolate only those in their “small neighborhoods,” British doctors would be able to “destroy this [disease] swiftly” worldwide should they adopt variolation. Examined through the lens of Edward Said’s Orientalism, techno-Orientalism, and medical Orientalism and contextualized by a comparison to British attitudes toward nineteenth century vaccination, eighteenth century smallpox variolation’s introduction to Britain from the non-British “Orient” represents an instance of reversed Orientalism, in which a technologically deficient British “Occident” must “Orientalize” itself to import the superior medical technology of variolation into Britain. In a scramble to retain technological superiority over the Chinese Orient, Britain manufactures a sense of total difference between an imagined British version of variolation and a real, non-British version of variolation. This imagination of total difference is maintained through characterizations of the non-British variolation as ancient, unsafe, and practiced by illegitimate practitioners, while the imagined British variolation is characterized as safe, heroic, and practiced by legitimate British medical doctors. The Occident’s instance of medical technological inferiority brought about by the importation of variolation from the Orient, which I propose represents an eighteenth-century instance of what I call medical techno-Orientalism, represents an expression of British anxiety over a medical technologically superior Orient—anxieties which express themselves as retaliatory attacks on the Orient and variolation as it is practiced in the Orient—and as an expression of British desire to maintain medical technological superiority over the Orient.

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  • 2021-05

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Describing Virus Vaccines and Controversies: Comparison of Three Vaccines in Medical and Social Contexts

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In the United States, a dispute has arisen over the safety and need for vaccination, particularly in regard to compulsory vaccination laws. New outlets and social media sites publish countless

In the United States, a dispute has arisen over the safety and need for vaccination, particularly in regard to compulsory vaccination laws. New outlets and social media sites publish countless reports about the dangers of vaccines or of known adverse reactions as well as imagined or unproven worries. Individuals' rights to choose to get vaccinated or allow their children to be vaccinated comes to direct conflict with measures needed to protect communities from preventable viral diseases. The controversy surrounding vaccines is not new, nor necessarily are the fundamental reasons for skepticism. Looking back through the history of vaccines as a medical tool, the evolution of the controversy can be observed taking place with each new historical context, scientific development, and social conditions. Despite scientific research and assurances of vaccine safety, opposition and unease about vaccination appear to take Looking individually at the development and distribution of the smallpox (variola virus), polio (poliovirus) and human papilloma virus(HPV) vaccines, concerns regarding the violation of personal rights, safety of vaccines themselves, and social stigmas and connotations surrounding vaccines can be seen to evolve and change. Due to the way doubt can manifest in different ways over time, it may be impossible to fully end the vaccine debate. However, nderstanding the sociological factors behind anti-vaccine sentiment may allow healthcare professionals to work with concerned people with a particular care to address these visceral and sometimes irrational fears surrounding vaccination.

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  • 2014-05

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Fools and Madmen: Public Health and Personal Autonomy in Vaccination Practices

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Vaccine opposition is a growing problem in developed countries where dropping vaccination rates threaten general public health by laying the foundation for resurgence and reemergence of previously eradicated infectious diseases.

Vaccine opposition is a growing problem in developed countries where dropping vaccination rates threaten general public health by laying the foundation for resurgence and reemergence of previously eradicated infectious diseases. This thesis argues that the current movement is only the most recent incarnation of opposition that has co-evolved with vaccine practices for the duration of their mutual histories. Part one provides a historical context for the current movement using the example of the development and deployment of the smallpox vaccine as a representative timeline of vaccine acceptance and opposition. Part two describes the current movement in the United States and the United Kingdom, interprets the reasons for the conclusions drawn by vaccine-concerned parents, and provides a framework for public health officials to approach the issues.

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  • 2013-12

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Development of a Vaccine for Immunization Against Smallpox and Anthrax

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Abstract Development of a Vaccine for Immunization Against Smallpox and Anthrax Jason Maurice Cameron Biological weapons are often considered to be the most dangerous weapons of mass destruction because of

Abstract Development of a Vaccine for Immunization Against Smallpox and Anthrax Jason Maurice Cameron Biological weapons are often considered to be the most dangerous weapons of mass destruction because of there potential to infect huge numbers of people, who may then in turn infect others who were not even present at the point of initial impact. Among the most feared biological weapons are those that contain smallpox and anthrax because of these diseases' high rates of both infection and death. For this reason, the development of a vaccine that immunizes the receivers against both smallpox and anthrax would be great progress. This study seeks to develop such a vaccine by constructing a recombination plasmid that will introduce new genes that combat anthrax into the strain of vaccinia virus (VV), the virus used to vaccinate against smallpox. This study includes a highly detailed analysis of the various processes used to attempt this recombination and proposes plans further research into the subject.

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  • 2003-05

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The unwelcomed traveler: England's Black Death and Hopi's smallpox

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This dissertation analyzes the fourteenth-century English and nineteenth-century Hopi experiences with the unwelcomed traveler of disease, specifically the Black Death and the smallpox outbreak of 1898-1899. By placing both

This dissertation analyzes the fourteenth-century English and nineteenth-century Hopi experiences with the unwelcomed traveler of disease, specifically the Black Death and the smallpox outbreak of 1898-1899. By placing both peoples and events beside one another, it becomes possible to move past the death toll inflected by disease and see the role of diseases as a catalyst of historical change. Furthermore, this study places the Hopi experience with smallpox, and disease in general, in context with the human story of disease. The central methodical approach is ethnohistory, using firsthand accounts to reconstruct the cultural frameworks of the Hopi and the English. In analyzing the English and Hopi experiences this study uses the Medicine Way approach of three dimensions. Placing the first dimension approach (the English and the bubonic plague) alongside the third dimension approach (the Hopi and smallpox) demonstrates, not only the common ground of both approaches (second dimension), but the commonalities in the interactions of humans and disease. As my dissertation demonstrates, culture provides the framework, a system for living, for how individuals will interpret and react to events and experiences. This framework provides a means, a measure, to identify and strive for normalcy. There is a universal human drive to restore normalcy after one's world turns upside down, and in seeking to restore what was lost, society undergoes transformation. Disease creates opportunity for change and for balance to be restored. This study concludes disease is a catalyst of change because of how humans respond to it.

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  • 2014