Typhoid, Cockles, and Terrorism


Led by Co-PIs Dr Samantha Vanderslott and Dr Claas Kirchhelle, ‘Typhoid, Cockles, and Terrorism: The turbulent history of Anglo-Irish control in revolutionary Dublin’ explores the turbulent history of typhoid in Dublin and is funded by the Irish Research Council and the Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC) Digital Humanities initiative. We aim to explore the intimate connection between imperial and revolutionary public health politics in 20th century Dublin. We are conducting innovative research on the (post)colonial politics of Anglo-Irish public health and typhoid control in Dublin to produce a major blended physical/digital exhibition. The exhibition will be(hosted at Dublin City Library and Archive and the Royal College of Physicians in Ireland, and we are creating educational resources and an open access database of spatially coded historical disease, environmental, and infrastructural data.

We are using a mix of historical and digital humanities methods to analyse and digitise historical disease data, medical correspondence, cultural ephemera, infrastructural records, and meteorological data to understand why British bacteriological and sanitary interventions proved impractical in Dublin and how they were perceived by local populations. We aim to make significant contributions to research and engage audiences from all age groups on the importance of equitable access to effective sanitary infrastructure and vaccines. See the award announcement here: https://research.ie/2021/08/04/ireland-and-uk-expand-cooperation-with-joint-research-awards-in-digital-humanities/

Key Publications

Vanderslott, S., Kumar, S., Adu-Sarkodie, Y., Qadri, F., & Zellweger, R. M. (2023, May). Typhoid Control in an Era of Antimicrobial Resistance: Challenges and Opportunities. In Open Forum Infectious Diseases (Vol. 10, No. Supplement_1, pp. S47-S52). US: Oxford University Press. https://doi.org/10.1093/ofid/ofad135

Saldanha, S., Kirchhelle, C., Webster, E., Vanderslott, S. and Vaz, M., 2022. Between paternalism and illegality: a longitudinal analysis of the role and condition of manual scavengers in India. BMJ Global Health7(7), p.e008733.

Cockle pickers on an Irish beach. © National Library of Ireland.