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Caroline Schep MA

PhD candidate


Area(s) of interest: Asian History, Colonialism & Postcolonialism, History of Medicine

Cohort/Start PhD: 2023-2024

New medicines and ethics in colonial Southeast Asia

Overarching project: ERC Starting Grant COMET: Human Subject Research and Medical Ethics in Colonial Southeast Asia

Leiden University
Supervisors: Dr. Fenneke Sysling (promotores: Prof.dr. Marieke Bloembergen, prof.dr. Herman Paul)
Duration: 1 September 2023 – 31 August 2027

My research will focus on drug testing in late colonial Indonesia and Malaysia. How were new drugs employed and tested in the colonies? What place did these drugs have in the medical market of Southeast Asia, and how did the population react to them? Who was involved: army doctors, plantation hospitals, medical missionaries…? How did these practices differ from what happened in Europe? What ethical considerations were behind experiments? And perhaps most fundamentally: in what sense were they experiments?