Is immunity a historical concept? Medical and juridical immunity in the European enlightenment

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

The inoculation of smallpox was the major topic that connected the late eighteenth-century Italian proponents of the Enlightenment and the new Romantic movement. From Parini to Manzoni, from Giovanni Bicetti to Carlo Porta, both the Illuministi and the Romantics were active proponents of vaccination and wrote poems to celebrate it. Despite their intellectual and medical engagement with immunization, however, neither group attempted to transform vaccination into a political trope. In the context of the rise of Italian nationalism, despite the abundance of biopolitical metaphors, there is a surprising, notable lack of an immunity paradigm. My paper looks at the history of the rise of the Italian Intellectuals’ interest in vaccination and analyzes the creation of Italian nationalist tropes in Manzoni and in the Romantic movement, and it tries to discuss the reasons behind their lack of interest of immunization as a political trope.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)327-345
Number of pages19
JournalConfigurations
Volume25
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 1 2017

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Health(social science)
  • Philosophy
  • Literature and Literary Theory

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