Enlightened publics for public health: Assessing disease in colonial Mexico

Paul F Ramirez*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalShort surveypeer-review

2 Scopus citations


In the eighteenth century, a new genre of periodical literature appeared from Mexico City's presses that focused on disseminating scientific and medical knowledge to the colonial public. In part a natural extension of the healing manuals published for laypeople in previous centuries, the journals sought to introduce quantitative methods of environmental study and control and to expand the sphere of those residents who would take responsibility for their health. This article examines the content and format of these journals before turning to the response of urban publics during outbreaks of epidemics, when the broader social participation envisioned by enlightenment men of letters came to fruition through pasquinades and rumors conveying dissent, skepticism, and protest.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)3-12
Number of pages10
Issue number1
StatePublished - Mar 1 2013

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • History and Philosophy of Science


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