Date of Award

Spring 2015

Document Type


Terms of Use

© 2015 Amy DiPierro. All rights reserved. This work is freely available courtesy of the author. It may only be used for non-commercial, educational, and research purposes. For all other uses, including reproduction and distribution, please contact the copyright holder.

Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts


History Department

First Advisor

Diego Armus


In 1956, Buenos Aires experienced one of the worst polio epidemics ever recorded in the city. The epidemic grabbed local headlines and inspired international aid campaigns, shaped and was shaped by public health policies and changed the course of countless patients' lives. By flipping through the pages of popular newspapers and film reels, this thesis tries to recreate the collective experience of polio in this time and place; by peeking into patient records, it asks whether historians can also recreate the individual experiences of polio sufferers through the eyes of their caretakers, too. Along the way, this story explores the dynamics of an epidemic moment, the policies and representations of the welfare state in Perón's Argentina and the development of medical specialties.


Recipient of the Paul H. Beik Prize in History, awarded in 2015.

Included in

History Commons