History , 46:3 (2013), 1–16 (p. 10).
Kushner, Self-Destruction in the Promised Land , 11; J. Watt (ed.), From Sin to Insanity: Suicide in Early Modern Europe (Ithaca, NY: Cornell University Press, 2004).
G. Minois, History of Suicide: Voluntary Death in WesternCulture (Baltimore, MD: Johns
Dr Williams’ Pink Pills for Pale People and the hybrid pathways of Chinese
normalising Western-style art for the Chinese public.
Along the same lines, Weipin Tsai contends that advertising in the newspaper Shenbao helped to produce the idealised image of the housewife as at once ‘consumer, domestic, and patriot’ in the new vision of liberated femininity that emerged after the 1915 New Culture Movement.
Even in case studies in which the advertising medium consists primarily of text, emphasis is placed on the construction of an ideological
Melissa Dickson, Emilie Taylor-Brown and Sally Shuttleworth
the slowly increasing suicide rates in Finland to modern urban lifestyles, in an effort to accentuate the cultural differences between so-called ‘modernised’ Western nations, and other cultures. Myllykangas interrogates such claims in the context of Finnish society, which, he notes, was at a very different stage of industrial transition than many of its Western European counterparts. In this specific social and political context, counterarguments to the widespread conception of suicide in Europe were put forward by figures such as the physician and anthropologist F
Daktar Binodbihari Ray Kabiraj and the metaphorics of the
nineteenth-century Ayurvedic body
Projit Bihari Mukharji
Nowhere is this refusal of coevalness more conspicuous today than in overviews of the history of medicine. A 2008 work entitled Medicine and Modernism , for instance, has this to say about the conundrum of the modern: ‘“Modernity” and “modernization” are terms that historians use to refer to the interrelated series of economic, social, and political transformations that occurred in western societies during the period of the long nineteenth century. Urbanization, industrialization, and the spread of market capitalism were
were disproportionately subject to the experimentation of laboratory-based medicine that often caused more immediate harm than good to their families.
The Fowlers’ phrenology ultimately sustained the essentialist taxonomies from which it promised to liberate its adherents. Their programme of individualistic self-culture was also a means of self-regulation within a normative social code.
Phrenology has remained an undercurrent in Western medicine and culture, resurfacing recently in relation to
The hygienic utopia in Jules Verne, Camille Flammarion, and William
course, been drawn by humans for centuries: Egyptian physicians, for instance, believed that disease was caused by the absorption of putrefying faeces,
and as asserted by Micaela Sullivan-Fowler, ‘perhaps no other part of the body has played a longer or larger part in disease origin than the intestines and its most visible, odorous by-product, feces’.
Although human excrement had been valued for its positive qualities in certain periods, Westernculture broadly
Cancer, modernity, and decline in fin-de-siècle Britain
decline, and constructed as a malady of modern life using long-standing and flexible disease metaphors.
In this way, the disease was used to interrogate those facets of society and culture that appeared new and ‘modern’ to nineteenth-century medical men.
Cancer in the nineteenth century
From the late eighteenth century, cancer was increasingly addressed in both medical practice and culture, corresponding with rising popular and professional anxiety about the disease. Cancer
missionary endeavour, occurred within a period otherwise distinguished, according to Jane Samson, by an emerging sense of ‘imperial benevolence’ in which ‘Christian piety, public duty and particular constructions of race and culture’ informed ‘a powerful alliance between humanitarian activism and naval power’.
The clamour which surrounded the perceived martyrdom of the Royal Navy's ‘strikingly modern’ and Christian luminary thus underlined the dialectical and introspective nature of the much-championed humanitarian ethos
, generalists attacked specialisation as a dangerous innovation of little medical value. 71 Such criticism, moreover, carried an ideological edge. Opponents condemned specialists for focusing on specific diseases and isolated parts of the body. Localised perspectives conflicted with a prevailing holistic medical culture, and generalists continued to argue that the effective understanding and treatment of illness required disease to be placed in the context of the whole patient. 72
Into the twentieth century, concerted opposition to specialisation faded
heart of Western civilisation. 17 Markets in such analyses represented not only the most efficient means for allocating resources, but also a political bulwark. Economic freedom and competition provided the basis for all liberty, and state encroachment here would inevitably result in political authoritarianism. 18 Moreover, in simple economic terms, thinkers such as Friedrich Hayek suggested that central planning and bureaucracy stunted creativity and spontaneous order, and crucially lacked the means to create and process all the information required for efficient