HYSTERIA, WITCHES, AND THE WANDERING UTERUS: A BRIEF HISTORY OR, WHY I TEACH “THE YELLOW WALLPAPER” by Terri Kapsalis

A brilliant essay on hysteria, politics and women by Terri Kapsalis. I read this while walking on a street in Halifax and I almost got run over a few times. Needless to say, this is an engrossing and fascinating read.


 

While you were sleeping

Vaginal_examination_from_Maygrier_Nouvelles...1825_Wellcome_M0017861

by Terri Kapsalis

I teach “The Yellow Wallpaper” because I believe it can save people. That is one reason. There are more. I have taught Charlotte Perkins Gilman’s 1891 story for nearly two decades and this past fall was no different. Then again, this past fall was entirely different.

In our undergraduate seminar at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, we discussed “The Yellow Wallpaper” in the context of the nearly 4,000-year history of the medical diagnosis of hysteria. Hysteria, from the Greek hystera or womb. We explored this wastebasket diagnosis that has been a dump-site for all that could be imagined to be wrong with women from around 1900 BCE until the 1950s. The diagnosis was not only prevalent in the West among mainly white women but had its pre-history in Ancient Egypt, and was found in the Far East and Middle East too.

The course is titled…

View original post 4,982 more words

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s