The Hospital‐Colony Rovisco Pais: anthropology and history in context

Duration: 2005 ‐ 2008

Abstract: This investigation aimed to answer issues in the anthropological, both biological and social/cultural, research of leprosy in Portugal during the 20th century. It was based on ethnographic, historiographic and paleopathological methodologies applied in the landmark Hospital ‐ Colónia Rovisco Pais (1947 ‐ 1996). The administrative, social and clinical archives were analyzed to understand the past of leprosy by the characterization of osseous manifestations in lepromatous and tuberculoid leprosy. It also proposed to research the representation and experience of leprosy, by capturing the “life worlds” of leprosy from former patients still living in the Hospital. It is possible to think about the Hospital ‐ Colónia under the light of “the technique of power proper to disciplinary partitioning” imposed on the space of exclusion circumscribed by leprosy. According to Michel Foucault, all the disciplinary order lays in the “utopia of the perfectly governed city”. This utopia had two major auxiliary instruments: architecture and medicine.

Coordinator: Ana Luísa Santos, CIAS

Participants: Ana Luísa Santos, Luís Quintais, Sandra Xavier, Vítor Matos

Partner institutions: Centro de Medicina de Reabilitação da Ragião Centro Centro  ‐  Rovisco Pais

Financial support: Instituto de Investigação Interdisciplinar, Coimbra University  ‐  III/CSH/22/2005