Girls, Medicine and Body Culture in Nineteenth-Century France
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Over the course of the long nineteenth century, young women and girls were increasingly to become subjects of popular medicine and professional academic research in the medical and human sciences. They were the subjects of sexual abuse cases, psychological experiments, medical clairvoyance studies and investigations into the perils of puberty, and these studies contributed to a broad range of fields in the medical sciences. How can we reconstruct their cases and what were the consequences of involving them in scientific research? Were girls complicit in this scientific activity? And to what extent were the subjects also victims?
Table of Contents
1. Puberty and the Passions: Girls’ Biological and Emotional Development in Anthropological Medicine 2.‘le petite somnambule de Montpellier’: Gendered Credibility and Scientific Authority in the Case of Léonide Pigeaire 3. Private Bodies, Public Knowledge: Sexual Abuse Cases in Medico-legal Contexts 4.‘la fille électrique’: Expertise and Feminine Epistemic Virtue in the Case of Angélique Cottin’s Somatic Mystery 5. Transcontinental and Transatlantic Terata: Rita-Christina, Millie-Chrissie, Radica-Doodica, and Josefa-Rosalia 6. Signorina Elisabetta, Donzella Ninfa, and Madamigella Luisa: Subjects of Medical Clairvoyance and Mesmeric Experiments 7. Between Teratology, Zoology, and Gynecology: Blanche Dumas—Hermaphrodite, Quadruped, and Courtesan 8. Psyches in situ: Hysterical Girls and the Interventionist Paradigm in Experimental Therapeutic Medicine Conclusion