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Dr Arthur Rose

Vice Chancellor's Fellow

Arthur Rose

Dr Arthur Rose

Vice Chancellor's Fellow

Member of

Research interests

My current project looks at literary, medical and legal accounts of asbestos from the major asbestos producing nations. Asbestos is a fibrous mineral composite that causes debilitating, life-ending illnesses, and proliferates across the built environment. When a problem is so evident, its conception is often deemed a low priority. Most academic work on asbestos has focused on proving historical fault, or medical cause, or on ‘practical’ decisions for the built environment. But, perhaps the biggest challenge is to mediate safe practice with realistic precautions. To develop this sense of ‘living with’ asbestos, I look at the cultural imaginary that positions it as both ‘magic mineral’ and ‘killer dust’. This is particularly urgent in the case of mesothelioma, a painful asbestos-related chest cancer. Mesothelioma manifests 30 to 50 years after exposure to asbestos, and is often caught only very late in the disease’s progression. This creates a series of temporal disconnections, where moments of exposure, manifestation and diagnosis are out of synch with each other. Literature about asbestos diseases uses narrative tools to deal with this disjunction that might serve as a resource for people suffering from these terrible illnesses.

Structured keywords and research groupings

  • Centre for Humanities Health and Science

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Postal address:
School of Humanities
11 Woodland Road
Clifton
Bristol
United Kingdom