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Soaking up the rays

Light therapy and visual culture in Britain, c. 1890–1940

By Dr Tania Woloshyn

Soaking up the rays

Book Information

  • Format: Hardcover
  • ISBN: 978-1-7849-9512-6
  • Pages: 288
  • Publisher: Manchester University Press
  • Price: £45.00
  • Published Date: August 2017
  • BIC Category: History, History of medicine, History of art, European history, MEDICAL / Alternative & Complementary Medicine, HISTORY / Modern / 20th Century, HISTORY / Europe / Great Britain, ART / History / General, MEDICAL / History, Humanities / 20th century history: c 1900 to c 2000, Complementary Medicine, Humanities / British & Irish history, Medicine / History of medicine, The arts / History of art / art & design styles

Description

Soaking up the rays forges a new path for exploring Britain's fickle love of the light by investigating the beginnings of light therapy in the country from c.1890-1940. Despite rapidly becoming a leading treatment for tuberculosis, rickets and other infections and skin diseases, light therapy was a contentious medical practice. Bodily exposure to light, whether for therapeutic or aesthetic ends, persists as a contested subject to this day: recommended to counter skin conditions as well as Seasonal Affective Disorder and depression; closely linked to notions of beauty, happiness and well-being, fuelling tourism abroad and the tanning industry at home; and yet with repeated health warnings that it is a dangerous carcinogen.

By analysing archival photographs, illustrated medical texts, advertisements, lamps, and goggles and their visual representation of how light acted upon the body, Woloshyn assesses their complicated contribution to the founding of light therapy.

Author

Tania Anne Woloshyn was a Wellcome Trust Research Fellow in the Medical Humanities in the Centre for the History of Medicine at the University of Warwick from 2012 to 2016

Contents

1. Consuming light
2. Dosing sunburn
3. Light registers
4. Vanguard rays
5. Photogenic suntans
6. Dead points
Select bibliography
Index

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