Crafting Immunity : Working Histories of Clinical Immunology book cover
1st Edition

Crafting Immunity
Working Histories of Clinical Immunology

ISBN 9781138265295
Published November 15, 2016 by Routledge
320 Pages

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Book Description

Immunity is as old as illness itself, yet historians have only just begun to take up the challenge of reconstructing the modern transformation of attempts to protect against disease. Crafting Immunity assembles in one volume the most recent efforts of an international group of scholars to place the diverse practices of immunity in their historical contexts. It is this diversity that provides the book with its greatest source of strength. Collectively, the papers in this volume suggest that it was the craft-like, small-scale, and local conditions of clinical medicine that turned the immunity of individuals and populations into biomedical objects. That is to say, the modern conception of immunity was at least as much the product of the work of healing as it was the systematic result of discoveries about the immune system. Working outside the narrow confines of laboratory histories, Crafting Immunity is the first attempt to set the problems of immunity into a variety of social, technological, institutional and intellectual contexts. It will appeal not only to historians and sociologists of health, but also to social and cultural historians interested in the biomedical creation of modern health regimens.

Table of Contents

Contents: Editors' introduction; Part I Reason and Risk: Making sense of vaccination c.1800, Andrea Rusnock; Risk, efficacy and viral attenuation in debates over smallpox vaccination in Montreal, 1870-1877, Jennifer Keelan. Part II The Conundrum of Allergy: 'A private line to medicine': the clinical and laboratory contours of allergy in the early 20th century, Mark Jackson; Germs, vaccine and the rise of allergy, Carla C. Keirns. Part III Some Tools of the Trade: Neutralising flu: 'immunological devices' and the making of a virus disease, Michael Bresalier; Ceatures of reason? Picturing viruses at the Pasteur Institute during the 1920s, Kenton Kroker; Immunology in the clinics: reductionism, holism or both?, Ilana Löwy; Antitoxin and anatoxine: the League of Nations and the Institut Pasteur, 1920-1939, Pauline M.H. Mazumdar. Part IV Insiders, Immunity and Identity after World War II: Molecular surveillance: a history of radioimmunoassays, Angela N.H. Creager; Emerging paradigm, emerging disease: molecular immunology and AIDS in the 1980s, Victoria A. Harden; Conceptualising the maternal-fetal relationship in reproductive immunology, Moira Howes; Canadian vaccine research, production and international regulation: Connaught Laboratories and smallpox vaccines, 1962-1980, Christopher J. Rutty; Index.

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Kenton Kroker is Assistant Professor in the Division of Natural Science, Faculty of Science and Engineering at the York University, Toronto, Canada. Jennifer Keelan is Assistant Professor in the Department of Public Health Sciences, University of Toronto, Canada. Pauline M.H. Mazumdar is Professor Emeritus, IHPST, University of Toronto, Canada.


’All in all, the book is a very welcome addition to the historiography of immunology. With well edited papers, illustrations and an index, it is also very useable. It reminds us that in studying the history of medicine it is often rewarding to focus on what people do rather than what they write.’ Medical History