Out of the Dead House: 19th-Century Women Physicians and the Writing of Medicine

Out of the Dead House: 19th-Century Women Physicians and the Writing of Medicine

by Susan Wells
     
 

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ISBN-10: 0299171701

ISBN-13: 9780299171704

Pub. Date: 03/28/2001

Publisher: University of Wisconsin Press

Rediscovers women doctors who helped create styles of medical writing still used today.

In the last decades of the nineteenth century, two thousand women physicians formed a significant and lively scientific community in the United States. Many were active writers; they participated in the development of medical record-keeping and research, and they wrote self

Overview

Rediscovers women doctors who helped create styles of medical writing still used today.

In the last decades of the nineteenth century, two thousand women physicians formed a significant and lively scientific community in the United States. Many were active writers; they participated in the development of medical record-keeping and research, and they wrote self-help books, social and political essays, fiction, and poetry. Out of the Dead House rediscovers the contributions these women made to the developing practice of medicine and to a community of women in science.

Susan Wells combines studies of medical genres, such as the patient history or the diagnostic conversation, with discussions of individual writers. The women she discusses include Ann Preston, the first woman dean of a medical college; Hannah Longshore, a successful practitioner who combined conventional and homeopathic medicine; Rebecca Crumpler, the first African American woman physician to publish a medical book; and Mary Putnam Jacobi, writer of more than 180 medical articles and several important books. Wells shows how these women learned to write, what they wrote, and how these texts were read.

Out of the Dead House also documents the ways that women doctors influenced medical discourse during the formation of the modern profession. They invented forms and strategies for medical research and writing, including methods of using survey information, taking patient histories, and telling case histories. Out of the Dead House adds a critical episode to the developing story of women as producers and critics of culture, including scientific culture.

Author Biography: Susan Wells is professor of English at Temple University. She is the author of Sweet Reason: Rhetoric and the Discourses of Modernity and The Dialectics of Representation.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780299171704
Publisher:
University of Wisconsin Press
Publication date:
03/28/2001
Edition description:
1
Pages:
328
Product dimensions:
5.91(w) x 9.06(h) x (d)

Table of Contents

Illustrationsix
Acknowledgmentsxi
1Out of the Dead House3
2Medical Conversations and Medical Histories16
3Invisible Writing I: Ann Preston Invents an Institution57
4Learning to Write Medicine80
5Invisible Writing II: Hannah Longshore and the Borders of Regularity122
6Mary Putnam Jacobi: Medicine as Will and Idea146
7Forbidden Sights: Women and the Visual Economy of Medicine193
Notes229
Works Cited280
Index307

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