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HISTORY 4FF3 Health&Medicine

Academic Year: Winter 2017

Term: Fall

Day/Evening: D

Instructor: Dr. Juanita DeBarros

Email: debarr@mcmaster.ca

Office: Chester New Hall 602

Phone: 905-525-9140 x 24149


Office Hours: Thursdays, 2:30-3:30

Course Objectives:

Course Description: Focusing on the late nineteenth and twentieth centuries, this course explores the history of health and medicine in the colonial world, including the Caribbean, Asia, and Africa.  We will examine the role of health and medicine in maintaining imperial control, the actions of indigenous health care workers, the significance of race and gender in shaping colonial health care systems, and the emergence of international health organizations.

Course Objectives: In this course, students will have the opportunity to improve their research skills and to develop their essay writing and verbal communication skills.

Textbooks, Materials & Fees:

Coursepack and on-line journal articles.

Method of Assessment:


Class Participation                                           20%

Seminar Facilitation                                         5%

Paper Response                                             5%

Paper Presentation                                          5%

Research Essay Proposal                              25%    

Research Essay                                             40%

Policy on Missed Work, Extensions, and Late Penalties:

Submission and Late Policies:

Include your name and student number, the course name/number, and my name on the title page of your assignments.  Submit the assignment at the start of class on the day it is due. Do not leave any written work under my office door and do not submit written work by email or fax as it will not be accepted. If you submit your assignments in the History department drop box, you do so at your own risk. You should keep a photocopy of all your written work;  you must also keep your research notes and rough drafts for your essays as you may be required to hand them in.  Failure to do so may result in a zero for the assignment.   


Assignments not submitted in the class on the day they are due will be considered late and penalized at 5% a day. Weekends will be considered as one day.


Requests for Extensions to Deadlines:

Extensions or other accommodations will be determined by the instructor and will only be considered if supported by appropriate documentation.  Absences of less than 5 days may be reported using the McMaster Student Absence Form (MSAF) at www.mcmaster.ca/msaf/. If you are unable to use the MSAF, you should document the absence with your faculty office.  In all cases, it is YOUR responsibility to follow up with the instructor immediately to see if an extension or other accommodation will be granted, and what form it will take. There are NO automatic extensions or accommodations. Please note that the MSAF form will not be accepted after the assignment deadline.

Please Note the Following Policies and Statements:

Academic Dishonesty

You are expected to exhibit honesty and use ethical behaviour in all aspects of the learning process. Academic credentials you earn are rooted in principles of honesty and academic integrity.

Academic dishonesty is to knowingly act or fail to act in a way that results or could result in unearned academic credit or advantage. This behaviour can result in serious consequences, e.g. the grade of zero on an assignment, loss of credit with a notation on the transcript (notation reads: "Grade of F assigned for academic dishonesty"), and/or suspension or expulsion from the university.

It is your responsibility to understand what constitutes academic dishonesty. For information on the various types of academic dishonesty please refer to the Academic Integrity Policy, located at www.mcmaster.ca/academicintegrity

The following illustrates only three forms of academic dishonesty:

  1. Plagiarism, e.g. the submission of work that is not one’s own or for which other credit has been obtained.
  2. Improper collaboration in group work.
  3. Copying or using unauthorized aids in tests and examinations.

Email correspondence policy

It is the policy of the Faculty of Humanities that all email communication sent from students to instructors (including TAs), and from students to staff, must originate from each student’s own McMaster University email account. This policy protects confidentiality and confirms the identity of the student.  Instructors will delete emails that do not originate from a McMaster email account.

Modification of course outlines

The University reserves the right to change dates and/or deadlines etc. for any or all courses in the case of an emergency situation or labour disruption or civil unrest/disobedience, etc. If a modification becomes necessary, reasonable notice and communication with the students will be given with an explanation and the opportunity to comment on changes. Any significant changes should be made in consultation with the Department Chair.

McMaster Student Absence Form (MSAF)

In the event of an absence for medical or other reasons, students should review and follow the Academic Regulation in the Undergraduate Calendar Requests for Relief for Missed Academic Term Work. Please note these regulations have changed beginning Fall 2015. You can find information at mcmaster.ca/msaf/. If you have any questions about the MSAF, please contact your Associate Dean's office.

Academic Accommodation of Students with Disabilities

Students who require academic accommodation must contact Student Accessibility Services (SAS) to make arrangements with a Program Coordinator. Academic accommodations must be arranged for each term of study. Student Accessibility Services can be contacted by phone 905-525-9140 ext. 28652 or e-mail sas@mcmaster.ca. For further information, consult McMaster University's Policy for Academic Accommodation of Students with Disabilities.

Academic Accommodation for Religious, Indigenous and Spiritual Observances

Students requiring academic accommodation based on religion and spiritual observances should follow the procedures set out in the Course Calendar or by their respective Faculty. In most cases, the student should contact his or her professor or academic advisor as soon as possible to arrange accommodations for classes, assignments, tests and examinations that might be affected by a religious holiday or spiritual observance.

Topics and Readings:

What is Colonial Medicine?


Marks, S. “What is Colonial about Colonial Medicine?” Social History of Medicine 10 (1997): 205-20.

Anderson, Warwick. “Postcolonial Histories of Medicine.” In Locating Medical History: The Stories and Their Meanings, edited by Frank Huisman and John Harley Warner, 285-306. Baltimore: The Johns Hopkins University Press, 2004.*

Worboys, Michael. “Colonial Medicine.” In Companion to Medicine in the Twentieth

Century, edited by Roger Cooter and John Pickstone, 67-80. London: Routledge, 2003 (2000).*

Anderson, Warwick. “How’s the Empire? An Essay Review.” Journal of the History of Medicine and Allied Sciences 58 (2003): 459-465.

Medicine and Imperialism

Hart, Ernest. “The West Indies as a Health Resort.” The British Medical Journal 2, no.

1920 (October 16, 1897): 1097-1099.*

Curtin, Philip. “Disease and Imperialism.” In Warm Climates and Western Medicine,  edited by David Arnold, 99-107. Amsterdam: Editions Rodopi B.V., 1996.*

Johnson, Ryan. “The West African Medical Staff and the Administration of Imperial

Tropical Medicine, 1902-14.” The Journal of Imperial and Commonwealth History 38, no. 3 (September, 2010): 419-439.

Arnold, David. “Introduction: Disease, Medicine, and Empire.” In Imperial Medicine and Indigenous Societies, edited by David Arnold, 1-26. Manchester: Manchester University Press, 1988.*

Stepan, Nancy. “The Interplay between Socio-Economic Factors and Medical Science: Yellow Fever Research, Cuba, and the United States.” Social Studies of Science 8 (1978): 397-423.

 Race, Climate and “Tropical Medicine”

Anderson, Warwick. “Immunities of Empire: Race, Disease and the New Tropical Medicine, 1900–1920.” Bulletin of the History of Medicine 70 (1996): 94–118.

Worboys, Michael. “Germs, Malaria and the Invention of Mansonian Tropical Medicine: From ‘Diseases in the Tropics’ to ‘Tropical Diseases.’” In Warm Climates and Western Medicine, edited by David Arnold, 181-207. Amsterdam: Editions Rodopi B.V., 1996.*

Peard, Julyan G. “Tropical Medicine in Nineteenth-century Brazil: The Case of the ‘Escola Tropicalista Bahiana,’ 1860-1890,” in Warm Climates and Western Medicine,  edited by David Arnold, 108-132. Amsterdam: Editions Rodopi B.V., 1996.*

Carey, Mark. “Inventing Caribbean Climates: How Science, Medicine, and Tourism Changed Tropical Weather from Deadly to Healthy.” Osiris 26, no. 1 (January 2011): 129–41. doi:10.1086/661268.

Diseases in the Colonies

Arnold, David. “‘An Ancient Race Outworn’: Malaria and Race in Colonial India, 1860

-1930.” In Race, Science, and Medicine, 1900-1960, edited by Waltraud Ernst and Bernard Harris, 123-143. London: Routledge, 1999.

Prout, W. T. “Malaria in Jamaica.”  In The Prevention of Malaria, edited by Ronald

Ross, 376-381. New York: E. P. Dutton & Company, 1910.*

Sutphen, Mary P. “Not What but Where: Bubonic Plague and the Reception of Germ

Theories in Hong Kong and Calcutta, 1894-1897.” Journal of the History of Medicine and Allied Sciences 52, no. 1 (January 1997): 81-113.

Toyin Falola and Matthew Heaton, “Global Explanations versus Local Interpretations: Historiography of the Influenza Pandemic in Africa,” History in Africa, vol. 33, no. 1 (2006): 205-230.

Gender and Imperial Medicine

Balfour, Andrew. “The Tropical Field for Medical Women: Its Possibilities for Medical

Women.” Journal of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene 31, no. 21 (November 1,

1928): 1-21.*

Birket, Dea. “The ‘White Woman’s Burden’ in the ‘White Man’s Grave’: The

Introduction of British Nurses in Colonial West Africa.” In Western Women and Imperialism: Complicity and Resistance, edited by Nupur Chaudhuri and Margaret Strobel, 177-188. Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 1992.*

Bashford, Alison. “Medicine, Gender, and Empire” In Gender and Empire, edited by Philippa Levine, 112-133. Oxford: Oxford University Press: 2004.*

Rafferty, Anne Marie and Diana Solano. “The Rise and Demise of the Colonial Nursing

Service: British Nurses in the Colonies, 1896-1966.” Nursing History Review 15 (2007): 147-154.


Making Mothers

Allman, Jean. “Making Mothers: Missionaries, Medical Officers and Women’s Work in

Colonial Asante, 1924-1945.” History Workshop 38 (1994): 23-47.

Forbes, Geraldine. “Managing Midwifery in India.” In Contesting Colonial Hegemony: State and Society in Africa and India, edited by Dagmar Engels and Shula Marks, 152-172. London: British Academic Press, 1994.*

Lang, Sean. “Drop the Demon Dai: Maternal Mortality and the State in Colonial Madras,

1840-1875.” Social History of Medicine 18, no. 3 (2005): 357-378.

Juanita De Barros, “Grannies, Midwives, and Colonial Encounters.” In Reproducing the British Caribbean: Sex, Gender, and Population Politics after Slavery, 67-93. (Chapel Hill: UNC, 2014).*

Victoria Jubilee Lying-in Hospital Report, “Report on the Victoria Jubilee Lying-in Hospital for the year ending 31st March, 1902.” [this reading will be posted on A to L] 

Global Health

Wilkinson, Lise. “Burgeoning Visions of Global Public Health: The Rockefeller

Foundation, the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, and the ‘Hookworm Connection.’” Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part C: Biological and Biomedical Sciences 31, no. 3 (2000): 397-407.*

Palmer, Steven. "Migrant Clinics and Hookworm Science: Peripheral Origins of International Health, 1840-1920." Bulletin of the History of Medicine 83, no. 4 (Winter 2009): 676-709.

Pemberton, Rita. “A Different Intervention: The International Health Commission/Board, Health, Sanitation in the British Caribbean, 1914-1930.” Caribbean Quarterly 49, no. 4 (December 2003): 87-103.

Bashford, Alison. “Global Biopolitics and the History of World Health.” History of Human Sciences 19, no. 1 (2006): 67-88.

Traditional Healing

Karen Flint, “Indian-African Encounters: Polyculturalism and African Therapeutics in Natal, South Africa, 1886-1950s”, The Journal of Southern African Studies 32, no. 2 (June 2006): 367-85.

Steven Feierman, “Explanation and Uncertainty in the Medical World of Ghaambo”, Bulletin of the History of Medicine 74, no. 2 (Summer 2000):

Ole Bjørn Rekdal, “Cross-Cultural Healing in East African Ethnography”, Medical Anthropology Quarterly 13, no. 4 (December 1999):

Lyn Schumaker, Diana Jeater, and Tracy Luedke, “Histories of Healing: Past and Present Medical Practices in Africa and the Diaspora”, Journal of Southern African Studies 33, no. 4 (December 2007)