Pasteurian tropical medicine and colonial scientific vision

The Visual Plague project at CRASSH is pleased to announce the recent publication of a new article from project researcher Dr Branwyn Poleykett.


Branwyn’s work, “Pasteurian tropical medicine and colonial scientific vision’ is available online here.

She writes: The Pasteurian scientist Charles Nicolle spent most of his scientific career at the Institut Pasteur de Tunis. He produced an idiosyncratic archive exploring questions of scientific genius and his concern with the ‘traps’ set by scientific rationality. This paper considers the major visual themes of Nicolle’s diverse archive—myopia, exposure and illumination—as elements of colonial scientific visuality. I then consider this way of seeing in relation to the mass of medical photographs and scientific images circulating in Pasteurian publications. I argue that as well as indexing and demonstrating colonial scientific rationality these images encode the hidden, shadowy, indeterminate and esoteric forms of colonial scientific knowledge, a negative poetics, in addition to their public status as colonial, communicative, technological and epistemic instruments.

Branwyn’s article has been published in Subjectivity, a transdisciplinary journal engaged in the socio-political, cultural, historical and material processes, dynamics and structures of human experience.

You can find more information about Branwyn’s research on this blog, or through her CRASSH profile.


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