Atlantic Antidote: Race, Gender, and the Birth of the First Vaccine

Farren Yero, Turovsky/Casey Family Postdoctoral Fellow in Latin American History

Thursday, Feb. 15 at 4:30 pm

Academic A 340 (Conference Room)

Refreshments will be served.

A virus used to prevent smallpox—an affliction known as cowpox, or vaccinia—largely arrived to the Caribbean and the shores of South America incubated in the bodies of children, an early modern tissue supply chain that made the first vaccination campaigns in the Americas possible. Doctors, municipal authorities, and religious leaders within the Spanish Empire relied on the same method to establish and expand preventative health programs throughout the region. In doing so, however, they were compelled to abide by a royal policy that granted parents the right to consent or refuse vaccination. This talk will address the racial, gender, and labor dynamics of these dual public health policies and their wide-ranging effects as they intersected with anti-colonial and anti-slavery movements in the early nineteenth-century Atlantic World.

Landscapes of Injustice, Landscapes of Repair seminar series