Summer 2005

History of Women, Health, and Medicine


06/27/2005 - 08/10/2005
Tuesday & Thursday 09:30 AM - 12:00 PM

Public Affairs Center 107

Women are, and always have been, givers of health care as well as its recipients. Nevertheless, with the exception of "great ladies" such as Elizabeth Blackwell, women have been largely absent from standard histories of medicine and health until quite recently. Today, due to the efforts of a growing number of historians and social scientists, the history of women's diverse roles in providing health care and medical science is no longer a blank page. Putting women back into the picture clarifies many aspects of medical history, and highlights the fundamental ways in which gender divisions and roles structure the organization, activities, ideologies, and policies of medical science and public health. The history of women's health is a vibrant, growing area of research that speaks to today's health and health policy concerns.

This course serves as an introduction to recent scholarship and debates on the history of women, health, and medicine. Topics to be explored include the history of childbirth practices; the social impact of medical professionalization on women; women's participation in alternative forms of health care; race and ethnicity as factors in medicine; women and public health; and women as health-care providers: midwives, nurses, physicians.

Texts for the class include: Women and Health in America: Historical Readings; Dorothy Roberts, Killing the Black Body: Race, Reproduction, and the Meaning of Liberty; Zora Neale Hurston, The Sanctified Church; Judith Leavitt, Typhoid Mary: Captive to the Public's Health; R. Morantz-Sanchez, Sympathy and Science; and Laurel Thatcher Ullrich, A Midwife's Tale.

Assignments will include a combination of response papers, presentation, class participation, and a final paper (15 pages) on an individual research topic.

Jennifer Tucker (B.A., Stanford University; M. Phil., Cambridge University; Ph.D. Johns Hopkins University) is associate professor of history, science in society, and feminist and gender studies. She has published numerous essays on science, photography, and historical interpretation and is the author of Nature Exposed: Photography as an Eye Witness in Victorian Science (Johns Hopkins University Press, 2005). In 2008 she is convening a multi-disciplinary workshop on "Photography and Historical Interpretation" for a special theme issue of the History and Theory journal. Among her current research projects is a monograph, Making Social Facts Visible: Photography, Medicine, and Humanitarian Campaigns in British Aid Organizations, 1880-1960. Click here for more information about Jennifer Tucker.


Consent of Instructor Required: No

Format: Seminar

Level: GLSP Credits: 3 Enrollment Limit: 18

Texts to purchase for this course:
Gaylene Becker, THE ELUSIVE EMBRYO (UC Press), Paperback

Kathy Davis, RESHAPING THE BODY (Routledge), Paperback

Barbara Goldsmith, OTHER POWERS (Perennial), Paperback

Judith Leavitt, WOMEN AND HEALTH IN AMERICA: HISTORICAL READINGS (University of Wisconsin), Paperback

Sandra Morgan, INTO OUR OWN HANDS (Rutgers), Paperback

Wighard Strehlow, HILDEGARD OF BINGEN'S MEDICINE (Bear and Co.), Paperback

Laurel Thatcher Ulrich, A MIDWIFE'S TALE (Vintage), Paperback


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