Upcoming events

Peter Hobbins: 'Pox, plague and the shifting boundaries of quarantine'

11 February, 2014

Peter Hobbins will be deliviering the Australian Society of Microbiology (NSW-ACT Branch) Febuary meeting.

Historians have long recognised that emigrants and convicts aboard ships to the Australian colonies were often healthier than their compatriots who stayed behind. However, by the early 1870s, the system of compulsory segregation, shipboard cleanliness and personal hygiene that had been enforced since 1815 was largely set aside. The 1870s also witnessed a new development in the administration of quarantine in the colony of New South Wales. Now, Sydney residents with infectious diseases might also be moved to the city’s quarantine station at North Head and compulsorily vaccinated. This talk focuses on the changes in ideas of disease, defence, citizenship and compulsion that culminated in Sydney’s plague outbreak of 1900. In particular, the presentation will draw on the archaeology of the quarantine station, including the many carved messages left in Sydney’s sandstone cliffs by former staff and detainees.

Location: Lecture Theatre 024, New Law School F10, Eastern Avenue

Contact:Peter Huntington (ASM)
Phone: 61 2 9926 4329