Accepted paper:

Medicine in the margins: colonial Orissa, 1850s - 1920s

Author:

Biswamoy Pati (NEHRU MEMORIAL MUSEUM & LIBRARY)

Paper short abstract:

This paper focuses on the world of the tribals and outcastes in colonial Orissa highlighting the negotiations (in the margins) with smallpox,leprosy, ‘madness’ and midwifery.

Paper long abstract:

This paper focuses on the world of the tribals and outcastes in colonial Orissa highlighting the diversities and interactions in a context that spelt doom for the marginal people. Alongside, it examines the manner in which the marginal people responded to colonial modernity which, as 'received wisdom' informs us, seems to be an area monopolised by the upper caste, Hindu bhadralok of the urban world of the Bengal Presidency. It examines specific features, highlighting the intricacies generated by the shifts and changes affecting the region, and a host of interactions that lie submerged in invisibilised discourses. This paper explores the negotiations (in the margins) with smallpox, leprosy, 'madness' and midwifery. One would imagine that such areas would exist in earlier phases of European history, and also in the wider colonial areas, which could provide valuable insights to situate history in holistic and comparative terms over longer periods of time.

panel P44
Society, medicine and history: new perspectives