Over the course of the twentieth century, medicine 'cleaned up.' Clinical hygiene, however, came at a price. Particularly during the second half of the century, medicine got cleaner through embracing a logic of disposability. In other words, in cleaning up, everyday medicine came to produce heaps and heaps of (mostly plastic) medical garbage. This talk takes this story of medicine everywhere to one Indian city, Chennai, and looks into what happened next.
Sarah Hodges works on the social and cultural history of modern South Asia, specifically the politics of health in colonial and postcolonial India (particularly the Tamil-speaking south). Her interests lie at the intersection of a number of fields: modern South Asian history, cultural studies, urban history, and the history of science, technology and medicine.
Hodges' current project, Biotrash, asks questions about the contemporary history of health care through exploring the afterlives of medical garbage in Chennai, one of India's new health care hub cities.
This event is cosponsored by the U-M Science, Technology & Society Program.
Sarah Hodges, Associate Professor, Department of History, University of Warwick