Article ID: CBB221238025

A Vital Mediation: The Sanatorium, before and after Antibiotics (October 2019)


Venkat, Bharat Jayram (Author)

Technology and Culture
Volume: 60
Issue: 4
Pages: 979-1003

Publication Date: October 2019
Edition Details: Special issue: History of Technology and South Asia
Language: English

As drug-resistant strains of tuberculosis spread across India, commentators have warned that we are returning to the sanatorium era. Such concerns might be symptomatically read in terms of loss; however, prophecies of return might also signal that there is something to be regained. Rather than lamenting the end of the antibiotic era, I shift the focus to ask about the sanatorium, not simply as a technology of the past, but as a technology of an imminent future. In examining late nineteenth- and early twentieth-century conversations about treating tuberculosis in India, I demonstrate how the the sanatorium was figured as a therapeutic technology that mediated the relationship between the body and its colonial milieu. In this light, I argue that contemporary prophecies of a future past register not simply the loss of antibiotic efficacy, but also a desire to return to a therapeutics that foregrounds issues of vitality, mediation, and environment.

Includes Series Articles

Article Mukharji (October 2019) Akarnan: The Stethoscope and Making of Modern Ayurveda, Bengal, c. 1894–1952. Technology and Culture (pp. 953-978). unapi

Included in

Article Berger, Rachel (October 2019) Clarified Commodities: Managing Ghee in Interwar India. Technology and Culture (pp. 1004-1026). unapi

Article Prasad, Amit (October 2019) Burdens of the Scientific Revolution: Euro/West-Centrism, Black Boxed Machines, and the (Post) Colonial Present. Technology and Culture (pp. 1059-1082). unapi

Article Kumar, Prakash (October 2019) Introduction to Special Issue of T&C: History of Technology and South Asia. Technology and Culture (pp. 933-952). unapi

Article Kumar, Prakash (October 2019) "A Big Machine Not Working Properly": Elite Narratives of India's Community Projects, 1952–58. Technology and Culture (pp. 1027-1058). unapi

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Authors & Contributors
McMillen, Christian W.
Brimnes, Niels
Podolsky, Scott H.
Amrith, Sunil S.
Chalmers, Iain
Benedek, Thomas G.
Medical History
Journal of the History of Medicine and Allied Sciences
Indian Journal of History of Science
Social History of Medicine
Micrologus: Natura, Scienze e Società Medievali
Comparative Studies in Society and History
Oxford University Press
University of Leeds (United Kingdom
Imprensa da Universidade de Coimbra
McGill-Queen's University Press
Duke University Press
Therapeutic practice; therapy; treatment
Disease and diseases
Public health
Finsen, Niels Ryberg
Time Periods
20th century
20th century, late
19th century
20th century, early
21st century
Great Britain
United States
Medical Research Council (Great Britain)

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