Lecture, Barnard's Inn Hall, Thursday, 6 Oct 2022 - 18:00

Tuberculosis: A Cultural History

a black and white photograph of a nurse and doctor examining an x-ray

Tuberculosis (and especially drug resistant strains) is a major global health problem, with over nine million people developing the disease annually and 1.5 million dying from it. The history of TB reveals the complex and often contradictory meanings assigned to this disease. The terms used to talk about TB – phthisis, consumption, the “white plague”, and the “wasting disease”, for example – reveal a great deal about popular perceptions relating to contagion and individual social responsibility.

Joanna Bourke

Professor Joanna Bourke

Professor of Rhetoric

Professor Bourke is Professor of Rhetoric at Gresham College.

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