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‘Communicating Cholera: Nineteenth-Century Epidemiology and the Scientific Image’

Amanda Sciampicone
(University of Warwick)

The mysterious and deadly nature of cholera’s epidemiology compelled Victorian medics to investigate the disease. Increasingly, medics concentrated on tropical climates and unusual meteorological phenomena as the cause of cholera’s morbidity and spread, utilizing scientific diagrams, graphs, and maps to elucidate their arguments. In attempting to visualize cholera, these images suggested that the invisible disease could be quantified and measured against other seemingly intangible phenomena, powerfully evoking visual tropes of an illness that had the potential to contaminate the British nation.