Progress and pathology

Medicine and culture in the nineteenth century

Edited by Sally Shuttleworth, Melissa Dickson and Emilie Taylor-Brown

Progress and pathology
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  • Price: £30.00
  • ISBN: 9781526133687
  • Publish Date: Jan 2020
  • Publisher: Manchester University Press
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    Book Information


    This volume explores changing perceptions of health and disease in the context of the burgeoning global modernities of the nineteenth century. With case studies from Britain, America, France, Germany, Finland, Bengal, China and the South Pacific, it demonstrates how popular and medical understandings of the mind and body were reframed by the social, cultural and political structures of 'modern life'.

    Chapters in the collection examine ways in which cancer, suicide and social degeneration were seen as products of the stresses and strains of 'new' ways of living. Others explore the legal, institutional and intellectual changes that contributed to modern medical practice. The volume traces how physiological and psychological problems were constituted in relation to each other and to their social contexts, offering new ways of contextualising the problems of modernity facing us in the twenty-first century.

    This book is relevant to United Nations Sustainable Development Goal 3, 'Good health and well-being'.


    Introduction - Melissa Dickson, Emilie Taylor-Brown, and Sally Shuttleworth

    Part I: Constructing the modern self
    1 Revolutionary shocks: the French human sciences and the crafting of modern subjectivity, 1794-1816 - Laurens Schlicht
    2 Medical negligence in nineteenth-century Germany - Torsten Riotte
    3 Imperfect bodies: the 'pathology' of childhood in late nineteenth-century London - Steven Taylor
    4 Phrenology as neurodiversity: the Fowlers and modern brain disorder - Kristine Swenson

    Part II: Paradoxes of modern living
    5 A disease-free world: the hygienic utopia in Jules Verne, Camille Flammarion, and William Morris - Manon Mathias
    6 'Drooping with the century': fatigue and the fin de siècle - Steffan Blayney
    7 'A rebellion of the cells': cancer, modernity, and decline in fin-de-siècle Britain - Agnes Arnold-Forster
    8 The curse and the gift of modernity in late nineteenth-century suicide discourse in Finland - Mikko Myllykangas

    Part III: Negotiating global modernities
    9 From physiograms to cosmograms: Daktar Binodbihari Ray Kabiraj and the metaphorics of the nineteenth-century Ayurvedic body - Projit Bihari Mukharji
    10 From Schenectady to Shanghai: Dr Williams' Pink Pills for Pale People and the hybrid pathways of Chinese modernity - Alice Tsay
    11 Poisonous arrows and unsound minds: hysterical tetanus in the Victorian South Pacific - Daniel Simpson

    Part IV: Reflections and provocation
    12 What is your complaint? Health as moral economy in the long nineteenth century - Christopher Hamlin



    Melissa Dickson is a Lecturer in Victorian Literature at the University of Birmingham, and was formerly a Postdoctoral researcher on the Diseases of Modern Life project at St Anne's College, Oxford

    Emilie Taylor-Brown is a Postdoctoral Researcher on the Diseases of Modern Life project at St Anne's College, Oxford

    Sally Shuttleworth is Professor of English Literature at the University of Oxford

    Progress and pathology

    Edited by Sally Shuttleworth, Melissa Dickson, Emilie Taylor-Brown

    Hardcover £30.00 / $45.95

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