Dr Farren Yero

CHCI-ACLS Fellow
Dr Farren Yero

Dr Farren Yero

CHCI-ACLS Fellow, February - December 2022

Home Institution: Duke University

Farren Yero is a Postdoctoral Associate in the Department of Gender, Sexuality, and Feminist Studies at Duke University, a 2021-2022 ACLS Fellow, and a 2022-2023 NEH postdoctoral fellow at the Omohundro Institute of Early American History and Culture. She is a scholar of Latin America and the Caribbean, specializing in gender studies and the history of race, health, and medicine. Her writing has appeared in The Recipes Project, The Panorama, Age of Revolutions, and the forthcoming volume, Epidemic Urbanism: How Contagious Diseases Have Shaped Global Cities (Intellect). Her research has been supported by the ACLS, Fulbright-Hays, the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, the John Carter Brown Library, and the Newberry Library. You can find her on Twitter at @feyero.

Project Title: Atlantic Antidote: Race, Gender, and the Birth of the First Vaccine

My book project, Atlantic Antidote: Race, Gender, and the Birth of the First Vaccine, traces the circulation of the smallpox vaccine in the Atlantic World and argues that we cannot understand the history of vaccination without addressing the role of reproductive politics in its creation and maintenance. Drawing on archival research and feminist theory, the project foregrounds the enslaved and free mothers who (willingly or not) provided access to their children, whom doctors relied upon to incubate and conserve the vaccine across imperial lines. In turn, it analyzes how vaccination became embedded in struggles over abolition, individual rights, and the very meaning of consent. In doing so, it highlights the gender and racial politics of vaccine development and its contested relationship to slavery, freedom, and motherhood in the nineteenth century. As a fellow at the IASH, I will be conducting research at the library of the Royal College of Physicians of Edinburgh and the National Archives of Scotland on connections between Scottish doctors and Haiti in the wake of the Haitian Revolution.