Thesis ID: CBB772500784

Afflictions of the Tropics' Brink: Medicine, Meteorology, and the Cultivation of Place in the Antebellum Gulf South (2019)


“Afflictions of the Tropics’ Brink: Medicine, Meteorology, and the Cultivation of Place in the Antebellum Gulf South” provides a new perspective on the United States’ expansion into the southeastern borderlands. It reveals that in these newly acquired territories, medical and atmospheric knowledge were entangled with U.S. imperial anxieties and ambitions. This dissertation argues that at the heart of these ideologies were fraught imaginaries of the tropics, which was especially stark for a region that was climatically linked to the tropical Caribbean but politically bound to a predominantly temperate nation. In this milieu, climatic knowledge guided the actions of individuals, shaped expert and lay orientation toward the environment, and drove ambitions to reform places and the people that inhabited them. Guided by the overlapping practices of medical geography and climatology, Southern planters, physicians, and regional boosters relentlessly observed the weather. They chronicled wind patterns, temperature fluctuations, and other atmospheric phenomena across hours, days, months, and years. They used this knowledge in numerous ways, such as how to recruit white settlers to contested land, shape the built environment of slave plantations, and nurture popular fantasies about the commercial and medical benefits of a tropical America.

Citation URI

Similar Citations

Article Bruce H. Short; (2020)
Climate, Environment, and Medicine in Georgian England and the Antipodes (/isis/citation/CBB581742992/) unapi

Chapter Stefano Tibaldi; Carlo Cacciamani; Rodica Tomozeiu; (2008)
I cambiamenti climatici nel Nord Italia e in Emilia-Romagna (/isis/citation/CBB220706458/) unapi

Book Jankovic, Vladimir; (2000)
Reading the Skies: A Cultural History of English Weather, 1650-1820 (/isis/citation/CBB000100245/) unapi

Thesis Brown, David S.; (2010)
Pathways to Power: Physicians in Charleston, South Carolina, 1790--1860 (/isis/citation/CBB001561127/) unapi

Article Pietruska, Jamie L.; (2011)
US Weather Bureau Chief Willis Moore and the Reimagination of Uncertainty in Long-Range Forecasting (/isis/citation/CBB001231338/) unapi

Book Curtain, Philip D.; (2001)
Migration and Mortality in Africa and the Atlantic World, 1700-1900 (/isis/citation/CBB000101627/) unapi

Article Putnam, Constance; (2002)
Fascinated by Fevers: Nathan Smith (1762--1829), Early American Doctor (/isis/citation/CBB000300519/) unapi

Thesis Michael Verderame; (2017)
Science, Politics, and Soul-Making: The Romantic Encounter with Climate Change (/isis/citation/CBB568976028/) unapi

Chapter Franco Prodi; (2008)
Cambiamenti climatici e salvaguardia dell’ambiente (/isis/citation/CBB080779662/) unapi

Chapter Maurizio Maugeri; Elisabetta Mazzucchelli; (2008)
Errori e inomogeneità nelle antiche serie di dati meteorologici (/isis/citation/CBB726128813/) unapi

Thesis Thompson, Catherine L.; (2009)
“Dr. Greene Is Not God!”: Patient-Physicians Relations in Early America, 1750--1850 (/isis/citation/CBB001562849/) unapi

Chapter Bruno Cavalchi; (2008)
Corti e la meteorologia tra passato e presente (/isis/citation/CBB901801210/) unapi

Chapter Dorn, Michael L.; Keirns, Carla C.; Del Casino, Vincent; (2010)
Doubting Dualisms: A Genealogical Reading of Medical Geographies (/isis/citation/CBB001032711/) unapi

Article Diamond, David H.; (2010)
Origins of Pioneer Apple Orchards in the American West: Random Seeding Versus Artisan Horticulture (/isis/citation/CBB001021191/) unapi

Book Hahn, Barbara; (2011)
Making Tobacco Bright: Creating an American Commodity, 1617--1937 (/isis/citation/CBB001220603/) unapi

Book Pauly, Philip J.; (2007)
Fruits and Plains: The Horticultural Transformation of America (/isis/citation/CBB000774286/) unapi

Authors & Contributors
Jankovic, Vladimir
Curtain, Philip D.
Dorn, M. L.
Putnam, Constance E.
Pauly, Philip J.
Diamond, David H.
Journal of the History of Medicine and Allied Sciences
Journal of Medical Biography
Agricultural History
Environment and History
Environmental History
Health and History
University of Chicago Press
Ashgate, Variorum
Harvard University Press
Johns Hopkins University Press
University of South Carolina
Climate and climatology
Earth sciences
Medical geography; Etiology
Physicians; doctors
Corti, Bonaventura
Drake, Daniel
Smith, Nathan
United States
Atlantic world
18th century
19th century
20th century
17th century
20th century, early
21st century

Be the first to comment!

{{ comment.created_by.username }} on {{ comment.created_on | date:'medium' }}

Log in or register to comment