Hysteria Beyond Freud

Overview

"She's hysterical." For centuries, the term "hysteria" has been used by physicians and laymen alike to diagnose and dismiss the extreme emotionality and mysterious physical disorders presumed to bedevil others—especially women. How has this medical concept assumed its power? What cultural purposes does it serve? Why do different centuries and different circumstances produce different kinds of hysteria?

These are among the questions pursued in this absorbing, erudite reevaluation of the history of hysteria. The ...

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Overview

"She's hysterical." For centuries, the term "hysteria" has been used by physicians and laymen alike to diagnose and dismiss the extreme emotionality and mysterious physical disorders presumed to bedevil others—especially women. How has this medical concept assumed its power? What cultural purposes does it serve? Why do different centuries and different circumstances produce different kinds of hysteria?

These are among the questions pursued in this absorbing, erudite reevaluation of the history of hysteria. The widely respected authors draw upon the insights of the new social and cultural history, rather than Freudian psychoanalysis, to examine the ways in which hysteria has been conceived by doctors and patients, writers and artists, in Europe and North America, from antiquity to the early years of the twentieth century.
In so doing, they show that a history of hysteria is a history of how we understand the mind.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780520080645
  • Publisher: University of California Press
  • Publication date: 12/7/1993
  • Pages: 478
  • Product dimensions: 6.31 (w) x 9.35 (h) x 1.40 (d)

Meet the Author

Sander Gilman is Goldwin Smith Professor of Humane Studies and Professor of the History of Psychiatry at Cornell University and author of Disease and Representation (1988). Helen King is Lecturer in History at St. Katherine's College in the Liverpool
Institute of Higher Education. Roy Porter is Reader in Social Medicine at the Wellcome
Institute for the History of Medicine in London and author of Mind-Forg'd Manacles (1988). George Rousseau is Professor of English Literature at the University of California, Los Angeles, and editor of The Languages of Psyche (California, 1991). Elaine Showalter is Professor of English Literature at Princeton and author of Sexual Anarchy (1990).

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Table of Contents

Introduction: The Destinies of Hysteria
Pt. I Historical
1 Once upon a Text: Hysteria from Hippocrates 3
2 "A Strange Pathology": Hysteria in the Early Modern World, 1500-1800 91
Pt. II Thematic
3 The Body and the Mind, the Doctor and the Patient: Negotiating Hysteria 225
4 Hysteria, Feminism, and Gender 286
5 The Image of the Hysteric 345
Contributors 453
Index 455
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