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A Medical History of Skin

Scratching the Surface

Studies for the Society for the Social History of Medicine: 10

Editors: Jonathan Reinarz and Kevin Patrick Siena

304pp: 234x156mm: 2013
HB 978 1 84893 413 9: £60/$99

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Diseases affecting the skin have tended to provoke a response of particular horror in society. With obvious and sometimes repellant outward signs of malady, they were often perceived to be highly contagious, as well as synonymous with immorality. Such connotations may have stemmed from the tell-tale buboes of syphilis, but the social stigma of disfigurement is something that still exists today. This collection of essays uses case studies to chart the medical history of skin from the eighteenth to the twentieth century.

Scratching The Surface: an Introduction – Kevin Siena and Jonathan Reinarz
Part I: The Emerging Skin Field
1 Drain, Blister, Bleed: Surgeons Open and Close the Skin in Georgian London – Lynda Payne
2 Abominable Ulcers, Open Pores and a New Tissue: Transforming the Skin in the Norwegian Countryside 1750–1850 – Anne Kviem Lie
3 Protecting the Skin of the British Empire: St Paul’s Bay Disease in Quebec – James Moran
4 ‘Italic Scurvy’, ‘Pellarina’, ‘Pellagra’: Medical Reactions to a New Disease in Italy, 1770–1815 – David Gentilcore
Part II: Skin, Stigma and Identity
5 The Moral Biology of ‘the itch’ in Eighteenth-Century Britain – Kevin Siena
6 Syphilis, Backwardness and Indigenous Skin Lesions through French Physicians’ Eyes in the Colonial Maghreb, 1830–1930 – Adrien Minard
7 Discovering the ‘Leper’: Shifting Attitudes towards Leprosy in Twentieth-Century Uganda – Kathleen Vongsathorn
8 Sex and Skin Cancer: Kaposi’s Sarcoma Becomes the ‘Stigmata of AIDS’, 1979–1983 – Richard A McKay
Part III: Skin, Disease and Visual Culture
9 ‘An Alteration in the Human Countenance’: Inoculation, Vaccination and the Face of Smallpox in the Age of Jenner – Matthew L Newsom Kerr
10 Portraying Skin Disease: Robert Carswell’s Dermatological Watercolours – Mechthild Fend
11 Atavistic Marks and Risky Practices: The Tattoo in Medico-Legal Debate, 1850–1950 – Gemma Angel
12 ‘Kissed by the Sun’: Tanning the Skin of the Sick with Light Therapeutics, c.1890–1930 – Tania Woloshyn
13 ‘Classic, Characteristic or Typical’: The Skin and the Visual Properties of External Anthrax Lesions – James F Stark
Afterword: Reading the Skin, Discerning the Landscape: A Geo-historical Perspective of our Human Surface – Philip K Wilson
Editor: Jonathan Reinarz, University of Birmingham
Editor: Kevin Patrick Siena, Trent University, Ontario

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ISBNs: 9781848934139 978-1-84893-413-9 ISBNs: 9781781440407 978-1-78144-040-7 ISBNs: 9781781443415 978-1-78144-341-5

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