Charles Nicolle, Pasteur's Imperial Missionary: Typhus and Tunisia

Charles Nicolle, Pasteur's Imperial Missionary: Typhus and Tunisia

by Kim Pelis


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This book examines the biomedical research of Nobel Prize-winning bacteriologist Charles Nicolle during his tenure as director of the Pasteur Institute of Tunis. Using typhus as its lens, it demonstrates how the complexities of early twentieth century bacteriology, French imperial ideology, the "Pastorian mission," and conditions in colonial Tunisia blended to inform the triumphs and disappointments of Nicolle's fascinating career. It illuminates how these diverse elements shaped Nicolle's personal identity, the identity of his institute, and his innovative conception of the "birth, life, and death" — or, the emergence and eradication — of infectious disease. Kim Pelis blends exhaustive archival research with a close reading of Nicolle's written work — scientific papers, philosophical treatises, and literary contributions — to explore the complex relations between biomedical ideas and sociocultural context. The result is a study that will be of interest not only to students of French history, colonial medicine, and the history of the biomedical sciences but also to anyone seeking to understand how individuals have attempted to deal creatively with complex times and ambiguous knowledge. Kim Pelis, a medical historian by training, is a writer for the director of the National Institutes of Health.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781580464659
Publisher: Boydell & Brewer, Limited
Publication date: 04/15/2013
Series: Rochester Studies in Medical History Series , #7
Pages: 418
Product dimensions: 5.90(w) x 8.90(h) x 1.10(d)

About the Author

Now working full time for the NIH as a researcher/historian, 7/07. Kim Pelis is visiting assistant professor of history at the University of Notre Dame.

Table of Contents

Prelude: The Substance of Shadows Introduction: The Door of the Sadiki Staring at the Sea: Nicolle and the Pasteur Institute of Tunis The Threshold of Civilization: Typhus in Tunisia Light & Shadow: Lousy War and Fractured Peace Alliances: "Emperor of the Mediterranean"Invisible Forces: or, Action at a Distance Reservoir Docs: Birth, Life, and Death of Infectious Disease Mosaics of Power: Confronting Paris At Home with My Shadows: Patrie de Nomade

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