The Literary and Cultural History of Anti-Vaccination: a discussion with Dr. Travis Chi Wing Lau, April 25 

The ADVANCE program will host Dr. Travis Chi Wing Lau, assistant professor of English at Kenyon College, for a discussion on the literary and cultural history of anti-vaccination on Thursday, April 25, from 3:30 p.m. to 4:30 p.m. in Marquette Hall 100.

Anti-vaccination is often discussed as if it were a modern problem of the relatively recent or even immediate present — as anti-science/pseudoscience, as religious fundamentalism, as neoliberal choice, as the dangers of Big Pharma. But these claims often become explicitly ahistorical. Debates over the efficacy and legitimacy of vaccination, as well as its potential effects, date back to its inception as a medical practice popularized by Edward Jenner in the late 1790s.

Turning to the late eighteenth-century and early nineteenth-century vaccination debates, this talk explores the role of literature and visual culture as they were mobilized by proponents both for and against vaccination.

Register online.