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Grant number like: FT-52454-04

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Sean M. Quinlan
University of Idaho (Moscow, ID 83844-9803)

Summer Stipends
Research Programs

$5,000 (approved)
$5,000 (awarded)

Grant period:
6/1/2004 – 8/31/2004

The Social Uses of Medical Science in France, 1750-1850

This project examines how biomedical science transformed how people thought about the social world in France between 1750 and 1850. In the revolutionary era, doctors provided a vocabulary for talking about societal changes and therapeutic responses. In their eyes, sociopolitical crises had enervated the health of the citizenry, menacing the social body with degeneracy and depopulation. Only medicine, they thought, could restructure public and private life and regenerate the morbid social body. The project traces the creation of this medical idiom of domesticity and melioration during the old regime, its flowering during the French Revolution, and its subsequent revision in the post-revolutionary period in favor of hereditarian models of social and sexual hierarchy.