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Bulletin of the History of Medicine
Future Publications

Please note:

• The preprints available below have not been typeset or paginated, and further edits are possible. They will be removed from this website once the issues in which they appear are published in print and on MUSE.

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

“A Greater Earnestness of Purpose and a More Militant Spirit”: Physicians and Medical Relief in 1930s Michigan
By: Susan Stein-Roggenbuck
PDF (Posted October 7, 2016)

SUMMARY: The Federal Emergency Relief Act of 1935 promised federal funds for medical relief, and Michigan physicians seized the opportunity to shape the local programs created under FERA. Michigan’s physicians sought to preserve the private medical marketplace through the allocation of public funds to provide medical relief, just as funds were appropriated for food, fuel, and housing. Michigan physicians’ efforts to influence these programs crossed into the professional terrain of relief workers and social work. Physicians were not able to navigate the system unchecked; local officials and relief workers sought limits to medical authority in the interest of protecting public funds, and physicians resisted such efforts. While many of the programs of the New Deal years were hailed as innovative models, most preserved the existing tenets of the medical system while expanding physicians’ market for patients to include relief recipients.
KEYWORDS: physicians, medical relief, Michigan, private medical market, physician choice, social workers, New Deal

Measuring Up: Anthropometrics and the Chinese Body in Republican Period China
By: Jia-Chen Fu
PDF (Posted October 7, 2016)

SUMMARY: This article is an exploration of the ways in which anthropometrics were incorporated into medical and public health practice in China during the first half of the twentieth century. The author argues that Chinese anthropometrics satisfied two contradictory imperatives. It reaffirmed racist articulations of difference that emphasized Chinese weakness and inadequacy. But it also nurtured a discourse for Chinese initiative and self-transformation. Because Chinese physicians and researchers believed that anthropometrics indexed social and environmental influence, they positioned Chinese involvement in anthropometrics as a technology for improvement. Chinese anthropometrics was a crucial site for constructing the Chinese nation as well as highlighting anxieties about the composition of such a nation.
KEYWORDS: anthropometrics, measurement, children, China, medicine, public health

The “Ice Age” of Anatomy and Obstetrics: Hand and Eye in the Promotion of Frozen Sections around 1900
By: Salim Al-Gailani
PDF (Posted September 8, 2016)

SUMMARY: In the late nineteenth century anatomists claimed a new technique—slicing frozen corpses into sections—translated the three-dimensional complexity of the human body into flat, visually striking, and unprecedentedly accurate images. Traditionally hostile to visual aids, elite anatomists controversially claimed frozen sections had replaced dissection as the “true anatomy.” Some obstetricians adopted frozen sectioning to challenge anatomists’ authority and reform how clinicians made and used pictures. To explain the successes and failures of the technique, this article reconstructs the debates through which practitioners learned to make and interpret, to promote or denigrate frozen sections in teaching and research. Focusing on Britain, the author shows that attempts to introduce frozen sectioning into anatomy and obstetrics shaped and were shaped by negotiations over the epistemological standing of hand and eye in medicine.
KEYWORDS: frozen sections, anatomy, obstetrics, visual aids, representation

“The Weight of Perhaps Ten or a Dozen Human Lives”: Suicide, Accountability, and the Life-Saving Technologies of the Asylum
By: Kathleen Brian
PDF (Posted September 8, 2016)

SUMMARY: By accounting for the law’s productive capacity to structure asylum physicians’ encounters with suicide, this essay argues that the antebellum asylum was a technology for the preservation of life. The essay first shows how suicide’s history as a crime encouraged popular attributions of suicide to insanity. What began as a tactic to protect survivors, however, ended by bolstering the professional claims of asylum medicine. Initially it appeared there was much to gain from claiming suicide as their own, but dominion over prevention in fact rendered asylum physicians and their staffs vulnerable in unanticipated ways: for while agents of suicide were effectively evacuated of legal responsibility, a variety of laws made physicians more accountable than ever. Focusing on medical superintendent Amariah Brigham and his staff at the New York State Lunatic Asylum shows how the anxiety of assuming guardianship over the suicidal created networks of accountability that profoundly affected daily life.
KEYWORDS: suicide, asylum, law, power


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: 85 (2011)
Frequency: Quarterly
Print ISSN: 0007-5140
Online ISSN: 1086-3176