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Bulletin of the History of Medicine
Future Publications

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TO APPEAR IN - upcoming issues of the Bulletin of the History of Medicine.

“By Expresse Experiment”: The Doubting Midwife Salome in Late Medieval England
By: Alaya Swann
PDF (Posted January 26, 2014)

SUMMARY: This article examines late medieval English representations of the startling and apocryphal story of Salome, the skeptical midwife who dares to touch, or at least attempt to touch, the Virgin Mary “in sexu secreto” during a postpartum examination at the nativity. Salome’s story originated in the second century, but its late medieval iterations are inflected by a culture interested in evaluating and examining sensory evidence, in both medicine and religion. The story appears in sermon collections, devotional texts, the cycle nativity plays, and John Lydgate’s Life of Our Lady, and these variations demonstrate the intersection of gender and experience-based knowledge in medical and devotional contexts. Salome’s story provides a unique opportunity to study late medieval interpretations of female medicine, materialism, and spirituality.
KEYWORDS: women’s medicine, nativity, experience-based knowledge, Middle Ages, obstetrics, midwives

John Buchanan’s Philadelphia Diploma Mill and the Rise of State Medical Boards
By: David Alan Johnson
PDF (Posted January 26, 2014)

SUMMARY: The absence of medical licensing laws in most states during the years following the American Civil War made it possible for unscrupulous individuals to capitalize upon the weak governmental role in medical practice and educational charters. The practices of John Buchanan during much of his tenure at the Eclectic Medical College of Pennsylvania, in issuing thousands of dubiously earned diplomas, caused a national and international scandal. The traffic in diplomas became so flagrant that regulatory oversight of physicians and their practice, such as that conducted by the Illinois Board of Health led by Dr. John Rauch, developed rapidly across the United States. Though multiple factors prompted the rebirth of medical licensing laws, professional, educational, journalistic, and public concerns for bogus diplomas played an important role.
KEYWORDS: John Buchanan, diploma mill, Eclectic Medical College of Philadelphia, medical licensing, John Rauch, Illinois Board of Health

Collaboration of Art and Science in Albert Edelfelt’s Portrait of Louis Pasteur: The Making of an Enduring Medical Icon
By: Richard E. Weisberg and Bert Hansen
PDF (Posted January 26, 2014)

SUMMARY: Historians of medicine—and even Louis Pasteur’s biographers—have paid little attention to his close relationship with the Finnish artist Albert Edelfelt. A new look at Edelfelt’s letters to his mother, written in Swedish and never quoted at length in English, reveals important aspects of Pasteur’s working habits and personality. By understanding the active collaboration through which this very famous portrait was made, we also discover unnoticed things in the painting itself, gain a new appreciation of its original impact on the French public’s image of science, and better understand its enduring influence on the portrayal of medicine in the art and the popular culture of many countries even to the present day.
KEYWORDS: Pasteur, Edelfelt, painting, portraits, Paris, fine arts

The Entangled History of Sadoka (Rinderpest) and Veterinary Science in Tanzania and the Wider World, 1891–1901
By: Thaddeus Sunseri
PDF (Posted January 26, 2014)

SUMMARY: Scholarship on the Tanzanian Rinderpest epizootic of the 1890s has assumed that German colonizers understood from the start that they were confronting the same disease that had afflicted Eurasia for centuries. Outward indicators of the epizootic, known locally as sadoka, especially wildlife destruction, were unknown in Europe, leading German veterinarians to doubt that the African disease was Rinderpest. Financial constraints and conflicting development agendas, especially tension between ranching and pastoralism, deterred early colonial applications of veterinary science that might have led to an early diagnosis. European veterinarians, guarding their authority against medical researchers, opposed inoculation therapies in the case of Rinderpest in favor of veterinary policing despite recent breakthroughs in vaccine research. The virus was not identified before reaching South Africa in 1896, but this breakthrough had little influence on policy in East Africa. Yet emergent international disease conventions directed at bubonic plague entangled with veterinary policy in East Africa.
KEYWORDS: Rinderpest, epizootics, veterinarians, Tanzania


Bulletin of the History of Medicine

Bulletin of the History of Medicine is the official journal of the American Association for the History of Medicine.

Volume: 88 (2014)
Frequency: Quarterly
Print ISSN: 0007-5140
Online ISSN: 1086-3176