Brown, Tim and Moon, Graham
From Siam to New York: Jacques May and the ‘foundation’ of medical geography
Journal of Historical Geography, 30, (4), . (doi:10.1016/j.jhg.2003.08.018).
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The history of medical geography is marked by a search for ancestors. The story usually begins in the writing of
Hippocrates before re-emerging in the works of 18th and 19th century practitioners. In recent years, historical
geographers have called for the destabilising of such assertions of lineage and descent. This paper offers a
reconsideration of the history of medical geography through an exploration of the often hidden connections and
intersections that have helped to frame the future trajectory of the sub-discipline. More specifically, we focus on
the important contribution made by Dr Jacques Meyer May and offer a complex and multi-layered account that
examines the close interweaving of his work as a colonial surgeon and specialist in tropical medicine and his role
as a medical geographer in the United States.
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