112th Annual Conference - Riverside Convention Center, California
Friday, October 31 - Sunday, November 2, 2014

This page is about the 2014 conference. For 2015 conference info, go to PAMLA 2015.

Women and Medicine in the Nineteenth Century

Session Chair: 
Mary Powell, Claremont Graduate University
Session 5: Saturday 8:45-10:15am
RCC Raincross F


  1. J. Selene Zander, Loyola Marymount University, Los Angeles
    This paper explores the ways in which the language of hygiene is used to critique deviant female bodies and practices. The primary event that stimulates this moralizing discourse in nineteenth century Cuba is the outbreak of cholera. The era’s narrative fiction links literal contagion to non-normative forms of somatic contact.
  2. Jessica Groper, Glendale Community College
    Charles Dickens’ novel Bleak House features a female character with epilepsy, which exposed Victorian readers to a subversive and terrifying image in the female seizure.  The uncontrollable female body challenges nineteenth-century medical knowledge and ideals of female behavior, while also acting as an effective plot device in Dickens’ work.
  3. Gretchen Bartels, California Baptist University
    By drawing on the feminized medical rhetoric of nursing, the conflict between the private and the professional spheres is seemingly dissipated as the role of healthcare professional harmoniously combines with that of mother in Mary Seacole’s autobiography; however, this apparently smooth combination also challenges both of these roles.
Session Cancelled: