Jan Henning M.A.
Member of the Research Training Group CRITIS
University of Toronto, Institute for the History and Philosophy of Science and Technology
Dept. 2: History and Social Sciences
History of Technology
- Thema und Methode
- Kultur- und Sozialgeschichte
- Wissenschafts- und Technikgeschichte
- Rettungswesen; Gesundheitswesen
- Tuberkulose; race, class, gender
- Zeitraum und Region
- 19. und 20. Jahrhundert
- Deutschland, USA, Namibia
A History of Medical and Technical Emergency Services in the United States and Germany from 1860 until 1990
The dissertation project researches the discursive and material construction of medical and technical emergency services in the U.S. and Germany between 1860 and 1990. The study analyzes the topic from three perspectives. First, from the viewpoint of cultural and social history, it is the author’s goal to investigate the structures of power that were inscribed into this infrastructure. By examining the historical character of emergency services, exclusion based on categories such as race, class or gender could be confronted in future preparedness plans. In addition, the project poses the question of how people came to perceive emergency services as “critical.” Had the criticality of death been different in times when emergency services did not exist? Have technologization, medicalization and the modern trust in the infallibility of humans constructed the need to be rescued? Or did emergency services finally offer a solution to an “old” problem: the anthropological crisis of death? Second, the study aims at depicting differences, similarities and interconnections of knowledge and practices between Germany and the U.S. This approach is crucial in order to analyze how the political, social and cultural context shaped the development of emergency services. Lastly, from the perspective of critical infrastructure studies and disaster management, the dissertation examines how emergency services became interdependent with other infrastructures. Similarly, it seeks to portray historical concepts of prevention and preparedness.