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The WetNet: Pathogen Mobility and Fluid Bonding in Twentieth Century Biomedicine

My research, based in close discourse analysis of primary and secondary medical and legal literatures, offers a history of the hepatitis B virus and vaccine development in the period from 1940 to 1988. This subject offers an opportunity to investigate the expansion of the ways in which human and animal effluvia have been directed to network, around and beyond material bodies, through fluid bonds in mid- to late twentieth century biomedicine. The work offers a conceptual innovation in how histories of viruses, whether smallpox or Ebola, can be written that has the potential to change the international conversation about how epidemic disease has been and should be approached.


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