The Female Body in Medicine and Literature

BookThe Female Body in Medicine and Literature

The Female Body in Medicine and Literature

2011

February 8th, 2011

Access Token
£16.99
£16.99

Details

Other Formats

Price

Description

The Female Body in Medicine and Literature features essays that explore literary texts in relation to the history of gynaecology and women’s surgery. Gender studies and feminist approaches to literature have become busy and enlightening fields of enquiry in recent times, yet there remains no single work that fully analyses the impact of women’s surgery on literary production or, conversely, ways in which literary trends have shaped the course of gynaecology and other branches of women’s medicine. This book will demonstrate how fiction and medicine have a long-established tradition of looking towards each other for inspiration and elucidation in questions of gender. Medical textbooks and pamphlets have consistently cited fictional plots and characterisations as a way of communicating complex or ‘sensitive’ ideas. Essays explore historical accounts of clinical procedures, the relationship between gynaecology and psychology, and cultural conceptions of motherhood, fertility, and the female organisation through a broad range of texts including Henry More’s Pre-Existency of the Soul (1659), Charlotte Brontë’s Villette (1855), and Eve Ensler’s Vagina Monologues (1998). The Female Body in Medicine and Literature raises important theoretical questions on the relationship between popular culture, literature, and the growth of women’s medicine and will be required reading for scholars in gender studies, literary studies and the history of medicine. This collection explores the complex intersections between literature and the medical treatment of women between 1600 and 2000. Employing a range of methodologies, it furthers our understanding of the development of women’s medicine and comments on its wider cultural ramifications. Although there has been an increase in critical studies of women’s medicine in recent years, this collection is a key contributor to that field because it draws together essays on a wide range of new topics from varying disciplines. It features, for instance, studies of motherhood, fertility, clinical procedure, and the relationship between gynaecology and psychology. Besides offering essays on subjects that have received a lack of critical attention, the essays presented here are truly interdisciplinary; they explore the complex links between gynaecology, art, language, and philosophy, and underscore how popular art forms have served an important function in the formation of ‘women’s science’ prior to the twenty-first century. This book also demonstrates how a number of high-profile controversies were taken up and reworked by novelists, philosophers, and historians. Focusing on the vexed and convoluted story of women’s medicine, this volume offers new ways of thinking about gender, science, and the Western imagination.

This collection explores the complex intersections between literature and the medical treatment of women between 1600 and 2000. With contributors employing a variety of methodologies, and considering a broad range of texts from Henry More’s Pre-Existency of the Soul (1659) to the 2004 film Vera Drake, the book furthers our understanding of the development of women’s medicine and comments on its wider cultural ramifications. Although there has been an increase in critical studies of women’s medicine in recent years, this collection breaks new ground by drawing together essays on a wide range of new topics from varying disciplines, including studies of motherhood, fertility, clinical procedure, and the relationship between gynaecology and psychology. Besides their focus on subjects that have suffered from a lack of critical attention, the essays presented here are truly interdisciplinary; they explore the complex links between gynaecology, art, language, and philosophy, and underscore how popular art forms have served an important function in the formation of ‘women’s science’ prior to the twenty-first century. The book also demonstrates how a number of high-profile controversies were taken up and reworked by novelists, philosophers, and historians. Focusing on the vexed story of women’s medicine, this volume offers new ways of thinking about gender, science, and the Western imagination.

Contributors: Janice Allan is a Senior Lecturer in the School of English, Sociology, Politics and Contemporary History at the University of Salford. Madeleine K. Davies is a Lecturer in the Department of English at the University of Reading. Greta Depledge is an Associate Tutor for the Open University and for the Faculty of Lifelong Learning at Birkbeck College, London. Laurie Garrison is Senior Lecturer in English at the University of Lincoln. Joanna Grant is Collegiate Professor and Wandering Scholar for the University of Maryland University College. Lori Schroeder Haslem is a Professor of English at Knox College in Illinois, USA. Dominic Janes is a lecturer in the Department of History of Art, Birkbeck College, London. Emma L. Jones is a Research Associate at the Centre for the History of Science, Technology and Medicine and Wellcome Unit for the History of Medicine at the University of Manchester. Karín Lesnik-Oberstein is a Reader in Critical Theory in the Department of English and American Literature at the University of Reading, and the Director of the Department’s Centre for International Research in Childhood: Literature, Culture, Media (CIRCL). Pam Lieske is an Associate Professor of English at Kent State University at Trumbull, USA. Andrew Mangham is a lecturer in the Department of English and American Literature at the University of Reading. Emma L. E. Rees is Deputy Head of English and Senior Lecturer at the University of Chester. Sheena Sommers is a doctoral candidate at the University of Toronto in the Department of History. Susan C. Staub is a professor of English at Appalachian State University, North Carolina. Carolyn D.Williams is a Senior Lecturer in the Department of English and American Literature at the University of Reading.

An engaging and important book.
Holly Furneaux

https://global.oup.com/academic/product/9781846318528?cc=us

About The Author

Andrew Mangham is Associate Professor in Victorian Literature and Culture at the University of Reading, author of 'Dickens’s Forensic Realism: Truth, Bodies, Evidence' (Ohio State University Press, 2017) and 'Violent Women and Sensation Fiction: Crime, Medicine and Victorian Popular Culture' (Palgrave Macmillan, 2007), editor of 'The Cambridge Companion to Sensation Fiction' (Cambridge University Press, 2013) and co-editor of 'The Female Body in Medicine and Literature' (Liverpool University Press, 2011). Greta Depledge is a lecturer at Birkbeck College, University of London

Table of Contents

Table of Contents
Section TitlePagePrice
Half-title1
Title2
Copyright3
Contents4
Acknowledgments6
Notes on Contributors7
1 Introduction11
2 ‘Difficulties, at present in no Degree clear’d up’: The Controversial Mother, 1600–180026
3 Monstrous Issues: The Uterus as Riddle in Early Modern Medical Texts44
4 Surveilling the Secrets of the Female Body: The Contest for Reproductive Authority in the Popular Press of the Seventeenth Century61
5 ‘Made in Imitation of Real Women and Children’: Obstetrical Machines in Eighteenth-Century Britain79
6 Transcending the Sexed Body: Reason, Sympathy, and ‘Thinking Machines’ in the Debates over Male Midwifery99
7 Emma Martin and the Manhandled Womb in Early Victorian England117
8 Narrating the Victorian Vagina: Charlotte Brontë and the Masturbating Woman129
9 ‘Those Parts Peculiar to Her Organization’: Some Observations on the History of Pelvimetry, a Nearly Forgotten Obstetric Sub-speciality145
10 ‘She read on more eagerly, almost breathlessly’: Mary Elizabeth Braddon’s Challenge to Medical Depictions of Female Masturbation in The Doctor's Wife158
11 Mrs Robinson’s ‘Day-book of Iniquity’: Reading Bodies of/and Evidence in the Context of the 1858 Medical Reform Act179
12 Rebecca’s Womb: Irony and Gynaecology in Rebecca192
13 Representations of Illegal Abortionists in England, 1900–1967206
14 Afterword: Reading History and/as Vision226
Index233