Publication Date

April 2016


Laura Ann Twagira


French Studies, History (HIST)


English (United States)


My thesis is a social history of syphilis in Colonial Algeria. I focus specifically on the stigma of the disease within the colonial administration and the social groups that it blamed for the spread of the disease. In particular, I researched prostitutes and how the colonial state placed heavy regulations on them in the name of syphilis control. I explore the historical process that produced this stigma and argue that it was informed by perceptions of gender and race. Then, I argue that colonial officials were influenced by this stigma of syphilis while they developed the health infrastructure. Finally, my thesis explores the effects of this stigma on the ways that Algerians perceived prostitution and disease. I argue that Algerians internalized certain opinions of the colonial state, but not all.



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