Annelie Drakman

senior lecturer at Department of History of Science and Ideas

+4618-471 1576
Visiting address:
Engelska parken, Thunbergsvägen 3P

Postal address:
Box 629
751 26 UPPSALA

Short presentation

This paragraph is not available in English, therefore the Swedish version is shown.

Fil. dr. i idé- och lärdomshistoria, intresserad av medicinska praktiker och teorier under 1800-talet, särskilt åderlåtning, miasma-teorin och klimatmedicin.

Nästa projekt handlar om forskares självbeskrivningar av det vetenskapliga livet samt forskaren som person, och utgår från självbiografier skrivna av Nobelpristagare i fysik. Av särskilt intresse är beskrivningar av glädje, förundran, vördnad.

Medlem av Svenska nationalkommittén för teknik- och vetenskapshistoria sedan 2015.

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My courses


My dissertation project is centered on Swedish provincial doctors, that is physicians stationed in rural areas, during the 19th century. Each provincial doctor was required to send in annual reports on the medical state of his area to the central organization of physicians. I will study these reports with a main focus on how the provincial doctors described and constructed their own and the rural population’s view of normality, sickness and health. I am particularly interested in issues concerning the ways medical authority was created, spread, sustained and renegotiated, and in which situations it gained acceptance or met with resistance.

As the 19th century progressed the provincial doctors increasingly claimed to represent a more active attitude towards disease, often contrasted in the annual reports with the rural population’s fatalism. It is however very important to take into account the rhetorical situation in which the reports were created – a fatalistic rural population could solve several problems for the provincial doctor. It could explain difficulties the doctor had at gaining his patients trust, it could reinforce his own self image as active, and it could motivate further enlargement of the provincial medical system. One question with which I will approach my empirical material is whether the provincial doctor could be said to look upon his tasks as a way of colonizing his own country.

To complicate matters, a nationalistic movement influenced by eugenics began idealizing the peasant as the embodiment of “Swedishness” towards the end of the 19th century. This view was often put forth by physicians, and stands in stark contrast with the pessimistic views which prevail in the provincial doctor’s annual reports.


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