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.
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A lecture by Professor Joanna Bourke
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