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Political Dictionary of the History of Health


    • Aerobics

      The Gym Tonic aerobics programme heralded the advent of a new politics of the female body

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    • Breast feeding

      The naturalness of breast feeding has been subordinated to a political idea of the Nation asserted in an explicit hierarchisation of class and race.

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    • Caesarian section

      In 19th century Belgium, post-mortem caesarean section turned into a politicized debate.

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    • Criminal abortion

      In 1852 the criminalisation of abortion is reaffirmed after the Academy of Medicine arrived at a resolution regarding therapeutic abortion.

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    • Intelligence test

      From the outset, the measurement of intelligence was as much a scientific as an eminently political endeavour.

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    • Psychedelic

      The term psychedelic was coined to refer to psychotic substances explored for use in psychiatry, but which remain under strict control

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    • Tattoos

      A body enhancing aesthetic practice, tattooing pertained, in the 19th century, to the world of crime and social deviance.

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    • Telemedicine

      The Covid-19 pandemic finds us revisiting an ancient practice: telemedicine.

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    • Telemedicine and Covid-19

      Does the Covid-19 health crisis mark the advent of telemedicine in our societies?

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    • Truth serum

      The truth serum is not just a fantasy, the stuff of science-fiction, it is also a political and medical instrument.Screenshot from Franju, La Tête contre les murs. The truth serum is not just a fantasy...

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    • Vegetarianism

      Around 1900, a vegetarian movement was organized in France to resolve the social question.

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    • Yoga

      Can an Eastern spiritual practice become a Western health practice without betraying itself?

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