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17:00 - 18:30 2 June 2010

Encephalitis Lethargica as a clinical project, 1917-46


Fifth Floor Seminar Room | Wellcome Trust Centre for the History of Medicine at UCL (link Map)
183 Euston Road | London | NW1 2BE | United Kingdom

Open to: Academic | Alumni | Public | Student
Admission: Free
Ticketing: Open

Speaker information

Professor Kenton Kroker, STS, York University, Toronto, Canada / Cermes, Paris, France, Kenton Kroker is on sabbatical in Paris. He is Visiting Researcher at the Centre de recherche médecine, sciences, santé et société (Cermes), and is conducting archival research for his SSHRC-sponsored project “Epidemics Futures: encephalitis lethargica and the twentieth-century trade in emerging diseases.”

The epidemic of encephalitis lethargica posed an enormous challenge to medical researchers during the decade following the First World War. Its victims were relatively few in number, but the nature, diversity, and complexity of their symptoms were without precedent. Rife with occult qualities and lacking any definitive bacteriological, immunological, or neurological test, what was it that made encephalitis a coherent clinical entity? Archival research in France and England reveals a variety of strategies through which clinicians projected encephalitis into the future, as a means of adapting and enhancing their authority in a world increasingly dominated by bacteriological practices and centralized public health systems.

NB: This event will be videoed. Doors open and refreshments will be available from 4.45pm. No admittance will be permitted after 5.00pm.


The History of Medicine's Events Team
+44 (0)20 7679 8103 | hom-events@ucl.ac.uk


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