Of Victorian Interest

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Of Victorian Interest

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CFP: Special Issue of Nineteenth-Century Gender Studies Summer 2013 (3/1/2013)

'Writing Bodies: Gender and Medicine in the Nineteenth Century'

Scholars are invited to submit articles for the Nineteenth-Century Gender Studies special issue 'Writing Bodies: Gender and Medicine in the Nineteenth Century'. Nineteenth-Century Gender Studies is a peer-reviewed, online journal committed to publishing insightful and innovative scholarship on gender studies and nineteenth-century British literature, art and culture. The journal endorses a broad definition of gender studies and welcomes submissions that consider gender and sexuality in conjunction with race, class, place and nationality. This special issue aims to situate nineteenth-century gender studies within a wider conversation that is taking place regarding health, medicine, and embodiment across the humanities and social sciences, to address a critical gap in the conversations about the intersection of nineteenth-century gender politics and medicine.

Critical discussion of gender and medicine in the nineteenth century has often relied on a dichotomy in which 'male medical discourse' (Vertinsky, 1994) stands in opposition to the image of the female patient. Furthermore, most feminist research on gender and medicine in the nineteenth century has been done on the medicalisation or, in the fin de siècle, 'hysterisation' of women. This special issue proposes to problematise this dichotomy and expand the notion of gender and medicine to include topics which have previously been overlooked. Medical technologies, institutionalisation, and more complex approaches to the practitioner/patient relationship tend to be excluded from discussions of gender and embodiment in the nineteenth century, but they are essential to a comprehensive exploration of medicine as it evolved throughout the century.

Building off of works such as Catherine Judd's Bedside Seductions: Nursing and the Victorian Imagination, 1830-1880(1998), Kristine Swenson's Medical Women and Victorian Fiction (2005), Miriam Bailin's The Sickroom in Victorian Fiction: The Art of Being Ill (2007), and Tabitha Sparks's The Doctor in the Victorian Novel: Family Practices (2009), this issue will seek to reformulate an approach to gender and medicine, which has traditionally been more interested in the role of women in the medical sphere. As well as discussing women in medicine, this issue will extend its reach to consider masculinity, sexualities, gender and the non-human, and the way that notions of gender influence medical narratives just as medicine influences constructions of gender.

We invite submissions that explore topics such as:

  • Medical narratives
  • Practitioners/patients
  • Nursing
  • The culture of medical journals
  • Literary and artistic constructions of medicine and the body
  • Medical technologies
  • Institutionalisation of medicine
  • The gendered body
  • Emotive embodiment
  • Illness narratives
  • Constructions of disability
  • Medicalisation of the body
  • Anatomical texts
  • Reproductive technologies and the rise of obstetrics
  • Performativity and modes of looking
  • Medical museums
  • Sexology

We welcome articles of 5,000-8,000 words, and in MLA format. Please use US spelling and citations. With the submission you should also include a 250-300 word abstract and a 50 word biographical note, the latter which will be posted if accepted for publication. Please send an electronic version of your submission, in Word or .doc format, to both editors: Lena Wånggren (lena.wanggren@ed.ac.uk) and Ally Crockford (a.crockford@ed.ac.uk). The deadline for submissions is 1st March 2013.

We also welcome book reviews and review essays, especially on the themes of gender, the body, and medicine, but also on wider issues regarding gender in the nineteenth century. If you want to submit a book review, please contact the reviews editor Susan David Bernstein (sdbernst@wisc.edu).

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