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Science Studies Research Workshop: Barbara Heifferon, “Ministers vs. Doctors: Rhetoric of the First American Smallpox Inoculation”

February 14 @ 1:00 pm - 2:30 pm

Announcing a Lecture by Professor Emerita Barbara Heifferon  (English, Louisiana State University)

“Ministers vs. Doctors: Rhetoric of the First American Smallpox Inoculation”

My research is a rhetorical analysis of the controversy that followed these first inoculations in 1721-22 in which I examine the arguments for and against the practice. Previous research found one or two argumentative threads; my analysis includes a number of others: politics, religion, race, initiator’s previous history, and power relations.

Professor Heifferon is a founding scholar in the new sub-field of rhetoric called the Rhetoric of Health and Medicine, which has grown internationally from 3 to over 300 scholars. She has authored six books and numerous articles. Her book, The Rhetoric of Healthcare: Essays toward a New Disciplinary Inquiry, was nominated for best book (2010), and her article, “Seeing Cells: Teaching the Verbal/Visual

Rhetoric of Biology” was nominated for best article (2008), by the Conference of College Composition and Communication. She is currently at work on a new book, tentatively entitled, Ministers versus Doctors: The Rhetoric of America’s First Smallpox Inoculation.

Free and open to the public.


February 14
1:00 pm - 2:30 pm
Event Category:


Science Studies Research Workshop


545 Park Hall