VicVaDis: The Victorian Anti-Vaccination Discourse Corpus – LECTURE

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Date / time: 7 February, 1:00 pm - 2:15 pm

Manson Lecture Theatre, London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine

VicVaDis: The Victorian Anti-Vaccination Discourse Corpus - LECTURE


This seminar (online and in person) discusses the design and construction of the 3.1-million-word Victorian Anti-Vaccine Discourse Corpus (‘VicVaDis’). VicVaDis is intended to provide a historical resource for the investigation of the earliest public attitudes and concerns around vaccination.

The dataset (1837-1901) coincides with the enactment of the Vaccination Act in August 1853, which made smallpox vaccinations for babies born after this date compulsory, and the Vaccination Act in 1907 which effectively ended the mandatory nature of vaccinations.

This talk will describe VicVaDis, and then present an exemplar analysis of it to demonstrate the potential for corpus analysis to add to our understanding of historical concerns about vaccination.

Professor Elena Semino, Lancaster University
Professor Alice Deignan, Leeds University
William Dance, Lancaster University

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