Thesis ID: CBB001561056

Sentimental Tools: Literary Narrative, Female Bodies, and Medical Identities in France, 1795--1850 (2009)


Feagin, Jayme Akers (Author)

Emory University
Miller, Judith A.

Publication Date: 2009
Edition Details: Advisor: Miller, Judith A.
Physical Details: 244 pp.
Language: English

As it did in so many other arenas, the French Revolution of 1789 razed the medical landscape in France. Revolutionaries, pushing for open access to all professions, successfully eradicated the corporate privilege that characterized medical practice in the ancien régime ; where they failed, however, was in replacing it with any coherent set of professional guidelines. Professional medicine in the early nineteenth century foundered, without a clear course between the statist and laissez-faire models that had so clearly failed by 1803. A new clinical-associative model emerged in the 1820s that placed doctors in a position of establishing social value both through service to the state and through service to individual patients. Case narratives, as the primary link between the individual and the collective, became a discursive category of proof--and an integral component of medical identity--in the early nineteenth century. Doctors consciously sought to establish their place in the social hierarchy through a "scientific" validation of the bourgeois worldview, particularly with regard to questions of gender and class. They further cemented their authority by using literary narratives--sentimental, gothic, and realist--to give their arguments currency by establishing both the social value and the expertise of medical professionals. This dissertation thus argues for a re-conceptualization of the process of medical professionalization as a process of identity construction, based on a performative model of negotiation between creator and audience.


Description Cited in Diss. Abstr. Int. A 70/07 (2010). Pub. no. AAT 3360023.

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Authors & Contributors
Jenifer Buckley
Zahedi, Shahrzad
Williams, Elizabeth A.
Sparks, Tabitha
Shepherd, Tonya A.
Schadl, Suzanne Michele
Social History of Medicine
Medical History
Korean Journal of Medical History
Journal of the History of the Neurosciences
Journal of the History of Medicine and Allied Sciences
Isis: International Review Devoted to the History of Science and Its Cultural Influences
Indiana University of Pennsylvania
University of Delaware Press
SISMEL edizioni del Galluzzo
Palgrave Macmillan
Ashgate Publishing
Medicine and literature
Medicine and gender
Mental disorders and diseases
Villena, Isabel de
Teresa, de Cartagena
Sims, James Marion
Lavater, Johann Caspar
Constanza, de Castilla, Sor
Charcot, Jean Martin
Time Periods
19th century
17th century
18th century
16th century
Early modern
Middle and Near East
Rio de Janeiro (Brazil)
United States

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