Peter Braden, LRCCS Postdoctoral Fellow, University of MIchigan
In 1952, American prisoners captured in the Korean War accused their own government of using bacterial warfare (BW) against civilians. Searching for ways to counter this supposed demonstration of Communist brainwashing, the American government tested novel, mind-altering chemicals such as LSD on human and animal subjects. At the same time, the Chinese government launched national rodent-killing campaigns to eradicate the vectors of diseases such as plague. This presentation shows how communities of rodents separated by the Pacific Ocean experienced these semi-scientific responses to the conflict in the Korean peninsula.
Peter Braden is a postdoctoral fellow at the Lieberthal-Rogel Center for Chinese Studies at the University of Michigan. He is a historian whose research interests include environmental history, science and technology studies, and animal studies. His first book manuscript is titled “Serve the People: Bovine Experiences in China's Civil War and Revolution, 1935-1961.” Peter is using his time at the LRCCS to publish his first book and to develop his second monograph, “Collateral Killing: Humans, Rodents, and Medicine in China: 1940-1980.” Before joining the LRCCS, he received his doctorate in history from the University of California-San Diego, and completed an An Wang postdoctoral fellowship at Harvard University's Fairbank Center for Chinese Studies.