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Grant number: FEL-257582-18

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Rebecca Paige Scales
Rochester Institute of Technology (Rochester, NY 14623-5698)

Polio's Hidden History: Disability and Epidemic Disease in France, 1920-1980

A book-length study on the social history of polio in France from 1920 to 1980.

"Polio's Hidden History" is the first scholarly study of polio and its survivors in France. Weaving together histories of epidemic disease, public health, and medicine with the social and cultural history of disability, this book uncovers polio’s critical role in restructuring France’s welfare state and social services, fueling vaccine development and biomedical research, and mediating France’s geopolitical status from the world wars through the era of decolonization. More important, by charting the everyday lives of polio survivors across the tumultuous political landscape of the twentieth century, this book exposes the complex and shifting intersections between disability, able-bodiedness, and citizenship in France, providing a new framework for understanding the history of inclusion and exclusion in one of Europe's oldest democracies.

Project fields:
Cultural History; European History; History and Philosophy of Science, Technology, and Medicine


Research Programs

Total amounts:
$50,400 (approved)
$50,400 (awarded)

Grant period:
7/1/2018 – 6/30/2019