Medical Mappings of Syphilis in the Late Nineteenth Century

  • Monika Pietrzak-Franger


Taking into consideration the medical publications on venereal and non-venereal syphilis in the second part of the nineteenth century in Britain and in the United States, I argue that the post-1850s insistence on an ‘innocent’ spread of the disease betrays larger fears fuelled by transformations brought about by modernity. In the context of new production and consumption modes, in which syphilis became divorced from the sexual act and extended over (intimate) relations, any sort of exchange became pathologized and served to outline the perils of modernity. Together with medical maps of syphilis, these debates articulated the necessity of replacing the grand-scale isolationist projects with nuanced exercises in civic responsibility as the chief means in syphilis control.


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© The Author(s) 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Monika Pietrzak-Franger
    • 1
  1. 1.Universität Hamburg Institut für Anglistik und AmerikanistikHamburgGermany

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