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Erin Claire Cage
University of South Alabama (Mobile, AL 36688-3053)
The Science of Proof: Forensic Medicine in Nineteenth-Century France

Research for a book-length study on the relationship between forensic science and law in 19th-century France.

This book project examines the history of forensics, or legal medicine, in France during the nineteenth century. It analyzes how medical and scientific knowledge was constructed in relation to transformations in the legal and penal systems, shifting political configurations, class, and gender. Drawing upon records of hundreds of legal proceedings, medical reports, and forensic studies, my research reveals how the state, medical authorities, jurists, and lay persons negotiated the boundaries between doubt and certainty as well as innocence and criminality. “The Science of Proof” argues that the practice of forensic medicine was fraught with uncertainty and that the rise of forensic experts both bolstered and undermined the pursuit of justice.

[Grant products]

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

Summer Stipends

Research Programs

$6,000 (approved)
$6,000 (awarded)

Grant period:
6/1/2018 – 7/31/2018