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postgraduate thesis: Dengue fever in modern Asia

TitleDengue fever in modern Asia
Authors
Advisors
Issue Date2018
PublisherThe University of Hong Kong (Pokfulam, Hong Kong)
Citation
Meerwijk, M. B.. (2018). Dengue fever in modern Asia. (Thesis). University of Hong Kong, Pokfulam, Hong Kong SAR.
AbstractThis thesis draws on extensive archival research to provide the first history of dengue fever in modern Asia: from dengue’s emergence as a discrete albeit ambiguous disease entity in the 1870s to ‘breakthroughs’ in dengue’s viral aetiology in the course of the twentieth century. How was dengue understood and experienced across the heterogeneous colonial spaces of maritime Asia? And how was dengue’s modern identity assembled over time? The thesis brings together an array of original sources, both textual and visual. Reading across and between multiple archives, the thesis shows how dengue disrupted conventional bacteriological narratives of disease discovery around 1900. Situated on the margins of debates about colonial health, dengue figured as an enigmatic but inescapable feature of daily life in the tropics. In contrast to the scholarly focus on epidemic crises in empire, the thesis argues that dengue provides an alternative to the ‘outbreak narrative’ and demonstrates the complex and persistent ways in which health, medicine, and environment are interconnected. Chapter I provides an overview of the scholarly literature, situating the thesis’s central argument within on-going academic debates about disease identity, colonial medicine, bacteriology and laboratory science. The following three chapters are ordered chronologically to frame dengue in specific colonial contexts. Chapter II compares discussions of dengue in concurrent epidemics in British India and the Dutch East Indies in the 1870s. Chapter III traces shifting understandings of dengue in colonial Hong Kong, where it was one of many ‘fevers’ that were not ‘mostly malaria’. Chapter IV investigates how different strands of dengue discourse in the American Philippines coexisted, overlapped, but were frequently mismatched. The last two chapters adopt a broadly thematic approach. Growing fears for the introduction of yellow fever in Asia, Chapter V demonstrates, were mapped onto dengue’s existing distribution. Chapter VI studies how dengue was visualised. In lieu of an image of its ‘ultramicroscopic’ pathogen, alternative scientific images were instrumental in assembling dengue’s modern identity. The Conclusion shows how ideas and assumptions about dengue that developed from the 1870s in Asia link up to contemporary debates about the disease.
DegreeDoctor of Philosophy
SubjectDengue - Asia
Dept/ProgramHistory
Persistent Identifierhttp://hdl.handle.net/10722/255052

 

DC FieldValueLanguage
dc.contributor.advisorPeckham, RS-
dc.contributor.advisorPomfret, DM-
dc.contributor.authorMeerwijk, Maurits Bastiaan-
dc.date.accessioned2018-06-21T03:42:04Z-
dc.date.available2018-06-21T03:42:04Z-
dc.date.issued2018-
dc.identifier.citationMeerwijk, M. B.. (2018). Dengue fever in modern Asia. (Thesis). University of Hong Kong, Pokfulam, Hong Kong SAR.-
dc.identifier.urihttp://hdl.handle.net/10722/255052-
dc.description.abstractThis thesis draws on extensive archival research to provide the first history of dengue fever in modern Asia: from dengue’s emergence as a discrete albeit ambiguous disease entity in the 1870s to ‘breakthroughs’ in dengue’s viral aetiology in the course of the twentieth century. How was dengue understood and experienced across the heterogeneous colonial spaces of maritime Asia? And how was dengue’s modern identity assembled over time? The thesis brings together an array of original sources, both textual and visual. Reading across and between multiple archives, the thesis shows how dengue disrupted conventional bacteriological narratives of disease discovery around 1900. Situated on the margins of debates about colonial health, dengue figured as an enigmatic but inescapable feature of daily life in the tropics. In contrast to the scholarly focus on epidemic crises in empire, the thesis argues that dengue provides an alternative to the ‘outbreak narrative’ and demonstrates the complex and persistent ways in which health, medicine, and environment are interconnected. Chapter I provides an overview of the scholarly literature, situating the thesis’s central argument within on-going academic debates about disease identity, colonial medicine, bacteriology and laboratory science. The following three chapters are ordered chronologically to frame dengue in specific colonial contexts. Chapter II compares discussions of dengue in concurrent epidemics in British India and the Dutch East Indies in the 1870s. Chapter III traces shifting understandings of dengue in colonial Hong Kong, where it was one of many ‘fevers’ that were not ‘mostly malaria’. Chapter IV investigates how different strands of dengue discourse in the American Philippines coexisted, overlapped, but were frequently mismatched. The last two chapters adopt a broadly thematic approach. Growing fears for the introduction of yellow fever in Asia, Chapter V demonstrates, were mapped onto dengue’s existing distribution. Chapter VI studies how dengue was visualised. In lieu of an image of its ‘ultramicroscopic’ pathogen, alternative scientific images were instrumental in assembling dengue’s modern identity. The Conclusion shows how ideas and assumptions about dengue that developed from the 1870s in Asia link up to contemporary debates about the disease.-
dc.languageeng-
dc.publisherThe University of Hong Kong (Pokfulam, Hong Kong)-
dc.relation.ispartofHKU Theses Online (HKUTO)-
dc.rightsThe author retains all proprietary rights, (such as patent rights) and the right to use in future works.-
dc.rightsThis work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License.-
dc.subject.lcshDengue - Asia-
dc.titleDengue fever in modern Asia-
dc.typePG_Thesis-
dc.description.thesisnameDoctor of Philosophy-
dc.description.thesislevelDoctoral-
dc.description.thesisdisciplineHistory-
dc.description.naturepublished_or_final_version-
dc.date.hkucongregation2018-
dc.identifier.mmsid991044014363903414-

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