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On hysteria : the invention of a medical category between 1670 and 1820

Author: Sabine Arnaud
Publisher: Chicago : The University of Chicago Press, 2015. ©2015
Edition/Format:   eBook : Document : EnglishView all editions and formats
Summary:
"These days, hysteria is known as a discredited diagnosis that was used to group and pathologize a wide range of conditions and behaviors in women. But for a long time, it was seen as a legitimate category of medical problem -- and one that, originally, was applied to men as often as to women. In On Hysteria, Sabine Arnaud traces the creation and rise of hysteria, from its invention in the eighteenth century through  Read more...
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Genre/Form: Electronic books
Early works
History
Early works to 1800
Additional Physical Format: Print version:
Arnaud, Sabine.
On hysteria
(DLC) 2014049382
(OCoLC)898717423
Material Type: Document, Internet resource
Document Type: Internet Resource, Computer File
All Authors / Contributors: Sabine Arnaud
ISBN: 9780226275680 022627568X
OCLC Number: 920466706
Description: 1 online resource (xi, 351 pages) : illustrations
Contents: Names and uses of a diagnosis --
In search of metaphors: Figuring what cannot be defined --
The writing of a pathology and practices of dissemination --
Code, truth, or ruse? The vapors in the republic of letters --
Relating fits and creating enigmas: The role of narrative --
Adopting roles and redefining medicine. Introduction --
Names and uses of a diagnosis --
The establishment of hysteria as a medical category --
An intermingling of terms --
First occurrences of the term "hysteria" --
Vaporous affection and social class --
Encounters between medical and religious spheres --
In search of metaphors: figuring what cannot be defined --
A catalog of images: Proteus, the chameleon, and the hydra --
Repeated quotations, divergent readings --
The writing of a pathology and practices of dissemination --
Dialogue --
Autobiography --
Fictional correspondence --
The epistolary consultation --
Anecdotes --
Code, truth, or ruse? the vapors in the republic of letters --
Well-timed fits --
The practice of vapors --
The force of the imagination --
Relating fits and creating enigmas: the role of narrative --
Bodies awaiting exegesis --
The rise of medical narrative --
In the shadow of a gothic tale --
Traps and countertraps --
The construction of secrets --
Adopting roles and redefining medicine --
To mystify or to demystify? establishing the role of the therapist --
Magnetism, parodies, and mystification: the art of framing a therapeutic --
Practice --
Strategies of legitimation and definitions of the patient to come --
Investing in women --
Conclusion.
Other Titles: Invention de l'hystérie au temps des Lumières, 1670-1820.
Responsibility: Sabine Arnaud.

Abstract:

"These days, hysteria is known as a discredited diagnosis that was used to group and pathologize a wide range of conditions and behaviors in women. But for a long time, it was seen as a legitimate category of medical problem -- and one that, originally, was applied to men as often as to women. In On Hysteria, Sabine Arnaud traces the creation and rise of hysteria, from its invention in the eighteenth century through nineteenth-century therapeutic practice. Hysteria took shape, she shows, as a predominantly aristocratic malady, only beginning to cross class boundaries (and be limited to women) during the French Revolution. Unlike most studies of the role and status of medicine and its categories in this period, On Hysteria focuses not on institutions but on narrative strategies and writing -- the ways that texts in a wide range of genres helped to build knowledge through misinterpretation and recontextualized citation. Powerfully interdisciplinary, and offering access to rare historical material for the first time in English, On Hysteria will speak to scholars in a wide range of fields, including the history of science, French studies, and comparative literature."--Provided by publisher.

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