Scurrying seafarers : shipboard rats, plague, and the land/sea border
MetadataShow full item record
This paper provides a broad overview of spatial, architectural, and sensory relationships between rats and humans on British and American vessels from approximately the 1850s-1950s. Taking rats as my primary historical actors, I show how humans attempted to prevent the movement of these animals between ports across three periods. Firstly, the mid- to- late-nineteenth century, where few attempts were made to prevent rats from boarding ships, and where a multiplicity of human/rat relationships can be located. Secondly, the 1890s-1920s, in which port authorities erected anti-rat borders to lock these animals on land or at sea. Finally, the 1920s-40s, where ships were reconstructed to eliminate all possibilities of rodent inhabitation and to interrupt their transit between ports. Ship rats, I argue, not only demonstrate the fragility of historical rodent-control efforts, but also provoke oceanic historians to consider how animals have negotiated and shaped boundaries between spheres of land and sea.
Skotnes-Brown , J 2022 , ' Scurrying seafarers : shipboard rats, plague, and the land/sea border ' , Journal of Global History , vol. FirstView . https://doi.org/10.1017/S1740022822000158
Journal of Global History
Copyright © The Author(s), 2022. Published by Cambridge University Press. This is an Open Access article, distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution licence (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/), which permits unrestricted re-use, distribution and reproduction, provided the original article is properly cited.
DescriptionThis work was supported by the Wellcome Trust–funded project “The Global War Against the Rat and the Epistemic Emergence of Zoonosis” (grant ID 217988/Z/19/Z).
Items in the St Andrews Research Repository are protected by copyright, with all rights reserved, unless otherwise indicated.
Showing items related by title, author, creator and subject.
‘Medic!’ An insight into Scottish field surgeons, physicians, and medical provision during the Thirty Years’ War, 1618-1648 Murdoch, Steve (2017-08-30) - Journal articleThis article investigates the provision of medical care for Scottish soldiers engaged in the Thirty Years' War. It is based on archival research in Scotland, England, Denmark, Sweden and the Netherlands. It shows that ...
Murdoch, Steve; Müller, Leos (Makadam förlag, 2017-06-01) - Book itemThis chapter reviews the strategy of neutrality developed by Sweden during times of war between the great European powers. Although the later league of armed neutrality of the 18th century is well known, this chapter ...
Public botanic gardens and the early institutionalisation of science : Edinburgh, Florence, and Pisa in the second half of the eighteenth century Romero-Passerin d'Entreves, Elena (University of St Andrews, 2022-06-16) - ThesisThis thesis is a comparative study of four botanic gardens in Scotland and Tuscany in the second half of the eighteenth century. Taking an approach based on case studies, it argues that botanic gardens were early examples ...