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Locating the MedicalExplorations in South Asian History$
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Rohan Deb Roy and Guy N.A. Attewell

Print publication date: 2018

Print ISBN-13: 9780199486717

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: February 2019

DOI: 10.1093/oso/9780199486717.001.0001

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Vernacularizing Political Medicine

Vernacularizing Political Medicine

Locating the Medical betwixt the Literal and the Literary in Two Texts on the Burdwan Fever, Bengal c. 1870s

Chapter:
(p.235) 10 Vernacularizing Political Medicine
Source:
Locating the Medical
Author(s):

Projit Bihari Mukharji

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/oso/9780199486717.003.0011

Christopher Hamlin describes a strand of medical thinking in nineteenth-century Britain that resisted narrow notions of disease specificity in the name of a broader, socio-economically grounded notion of ‘political medicine’. This chapter explores the vernacularization of this political medicine in Bengal in the 1870s. It focuses on the work of two specific Bengali intellectuals, viz. Dr Gopaul Chunder Roy and the Rev. Lal Behari Day. Since the former was a Glasgow-trained physician and the latter a missionary, ethnographer and novelist, the chapter also explores the differences between the literal and the literary vernacularizations of political medicine.

Keywords:   political medicine, moral economy, fever, poverty, ‘preying on the spirits’, Christopher Hamlin, vernacularization, Bengal, Dr Gopaul Chunder Roy, Rev. Lal Behari Day, physician, missionary, novelist

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