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CSS colloquium: Christiano Turbil, University College London

Communicating medicine to the first generation of Italians: Medicine, politics and popularisation in the work of Paolo Mantegazza

2020.01.14 | Randi Mosegaard

Date Wed 29 Apr
Time 14:15 15:45
Location https://aarhusuniversity.zoom.us/j/69009107855


In the late nineteenth century, questions regarding hygiene and public health became central to the medical, cultural and political debates in Italy. Particularly during the first few decades after the unification (1861), public health campaigns became a key element in the creation of the new nation-state. One of the key figures who contributed to the establishment of the practice of hygiene in the country was the polymath Paolo Mantegazza. Mantegazza introduced the culture of hygiene in a variety of ways: from professional communication to the creation of popular medicine. For Mantegazza it was fundamental to use popular medicine as a pedagogical tool to teach Italians how to be ‘doctors at home’ while also attempting to modernise the country. Mantegazza promoted his ideas using a variety of formats designed to engage with Italians regardless of their class and political ideas. These included public debates and talks, the publication of medical almanacs for the working class and, even, pedagogical and utopian novels.

The aim of this paper is to look at how the communication of hygiene was key to the welfare of the new kingdom. This paper will also explore how Mantegazza communicated controversial ideas about medicine and science to the general public. This will provide an overview of the circulation of medical knowledge in the post-unification Italian context and the importance this had for national public health.

The colloquium will take place online in this Zoom meeting: https://aarhusuniversity.zoom.us/j/69009107855

Lecture / talk