All month long we will be featuring speaker’s abstracts for the upcoming Equine History Conference: Why Equine History Matters. Register now!
Whose horses matter?
Kit Heintzman, Harvard University
Thousands of sick horses were brought to the École Royale Vétérinaire de Paris since it opened in 1766 to receive treatment, but few of them were ever referred by name in medical writing. This paper compares three genres of medical writing among eighteenth-century French veterinarians during the first 25 years of the hospital’s existence: the published account of treatment interventions, the hospital’s individualized treatment report, and the autopsy record. Such works reveal distinct ways of fashioning the meaning and importance of animal death in the early decades of state-supported of veterinary medicine. In the published reports, animal death was reduced to mere numbers, and became a mechanism to convey information about the state of veterinary practice, but not about the animals…
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