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Plague Image and Imagination from Medieval to Modern TimesMaking a Model Plague: Paper Technologies and Epidemiological Casuistry in the Early Twentieth Century

Plague Image and Imagination from Medieval to Modern Times: Making a Model Plague: Paper... [The chapter will introduce the outbreak report as an epidemiological paper technology. Since the late nineteenth century, not only has epidemiology developed statistical instruments and stochastic models, but the formalisation of the budding discipline included also the consolidation of a consistent narrative practice. A series of outbreak reports covering plague in Queensland, Australia from 1900 to 1907 serve as an example. Outbreak reports were a genre of communication for and between epidemiologists. Each report aimed to cover the range of complex local characteristics, which turned a series of cases into an epidemic event. The reports collected general observations, individual case reports, mortality and morbidity statistics, and brief descriptions of bacteriology, of treatment and prevention practices as well as of living conditions. They worked as places of explanation and cohesion for quantifiable data, such as case numbers, climate details or chronologies. But beyond their explanatory purpose, the reports did also reinstate and safeguard epidemiological practice as an empirical art, dedicated to fine-grained, systematic and inductive observation.] http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png

Plague Image and Imagination from Medieval to Modern TimesMaking a Model Plague: Paper Technologies and Epidemiological Casuistry in the Early Twentieth Century

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Publisher
Springer International Publishing
Copyright
© The Editor(s) (if applicable) and The Author(s), under exclusive license to Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2021
ISBN
978-3-030-72303-3
Pages
235 –266
DOI
10.1007/978-3-030-72304-0_9
Publisher site
See Chapter on Publisher Site

Abstract

[The chapter will introduce the outbreak report as an epidemiological paper technology. Since the late nineteenth century, not only has epidemiology developed statistical instruments and stochastic models, but the formalisation of the budding discipline included also the consolidation of a consistent narrative practice. A series of outbreak reports covering plague in Queensland, Australia from 1900 to 1907 serve as an example. Outbreak reports were a genre of communication for and between epidemiologists. Each report aimed to cover the range of complex local characteristics, which turned a series of cases into an epidemic event. The reports collected general observations, individual case reports, mortality and morbidity statistics, and brief descriptions of bacteriology, of treatment and prevention practices as well as of living conditions. They worked as places of explanation and cohesion for quantifiable data, such as case numbers, climate details or chronologies. But beyond their explanatory purpose, the reports did also reinstate and safeguard epidemiological practice as an empirical art, dedicated to fine-grained, systematic and inductive observation.]

Published: Jul 30, 2021

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