Buy Hystories: Hysterical Epidemics and Modern Culture Main Market by Elaine Showalter (ISBN: ) from Amazon’s Book Store. Everyday low. Showalter re-draws the picture of mental illness with clearer lines and as something which is closer to home than some would care to admit. Elaine Showalter. · Rating details · ratings · 9 reviews. This provocative and illuminating book charts the persistence of a cultural phenomenon. Tales of.

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Infectious diseases spread by ecological change, modern technology, urbanization, jet travel, and human interaction. This book has some value as a way to look at society’s panics and disorders, but it probably should be a way station rather than an endpoint. His blue ayes [ sic ] are kind and loving. Emma Mc Morrow rated it really liked it Aug 18, Noting popular media’s importance to the perception of women and feminism today, Showalter also discusses the contributions of popular personalities like Oprah Winfrey and Princess Diana.

Women, Madness, and English Culture, — discusses hysteria, which was once known as the showaltwr malady” and according to Showalter, is called depression today. In separate chapters she examines each of these entities–how it presents, how it fits into her theory of mass hysteria as a cultural response to the millennium, hystoies how it is being handled by health care professionals. The idea that whatever symptoms they are afflicted by tells where the woman’s uterus has moved – for example, if a woman is complaining of headaches, her uterus has moved to her head; if she is complaining of leg weakness, her uterus has moved to her legs elane feet.

Showalter’s caveat is that feminist critics must use eaine analyses as ways to understand what women write, rather than to dictate what they ought to write New Moi particularly criticized Showalter’s ideas regarding the Female phase, and its notions of a woman’s singular autonomy and necessary search inward for a female identity.

Her first academic appointment was at Douglass College at Rutgers University. Newspapers, magazines, talk shows, self-help books, and of course the Internet ensure that ideas, once planted, manifest themselves internationally as symptoms” Plett.


Showalter acknowledges the difficulty of “[d]efining the unique difference of women’s writing” which she says is “a slippery and demanding task” in “Feminist Criticism in the Wilderness” New A must read hystoories anyone interested in how moral panics operate.

Hystories by Elaine Showalter

However isolationist-like Showalter’s perspective flaine sound at first, she does not advocate a separation of the female tradition from the male tradition. I’m not, as a rule, a sympathetic reader of feminist literature nor of contemporary criticism.

I read this book because Kevin Young referred to it in Bunk one of the problems with reading interesting nonfiction is that hystoriez can lead to a rabbit hole of research. Showalter also came up against criticism in the late s for showapter of her writing on popular culture that appeared in magazines like People and Vogue. Teaching Literature was widely and positively reviewed, especially in the American journal Pedagogywhich gave it three review-essays and called it “the book we wish we had in our backpacks when we started teaching.

Showalter says “Hysteria is part of everyday life. Just as there is a difference between a soldier with PTSD or ‘shell shock’ and someone who claims their dog has the same condition, this book seems to elide the CFS sufferers into the ‘and my dog’ category. True, Showalter explicitly adheres to the social-scientist’s erroneous perception that culture shapes people, rather than the other way round; however, the case-histories and narrative developments she recounts are clearly instances of people shaping culture which then in turn shape people–but nobody ever denied that, surely?

Tales of alien abduction, chronic fatigue syndrome, Gulf War syndrome, and the resurgence of repressed memories in psychotherapy are just a few of the signs that we live in an age of hysterical epidemics. Her most innovative work in this field is in madness and hysteria in literature, specifically in women’s writing and in the portrayal of female characters.

Showalter’s controversial take on illnesses such as dissociative identity disorder formerly called multiple personality disorderGulf War syndrome and chronic fatigue syndrome in her book Hystories: Refresh and try again. Contentious material about living persons that is unsourced or poorly sourced must be removed immediatelyespecially if potentially libelous or harmful. Modern medicine has taught that the uterus does in fact not move around the body, and is definitely found in one place only.


Her father was in the wool business and her mother was a housewife. Nineteenth-century French doctors organized their case studies of hysterical women according to the conventions of the French novel, especially in its seduction scenes, and writers based their portraits of seductive or unhappy women on medical textbooks.

Elaine Showalter

In the s, Showalter began writing for popular magazines, bringing her work further into hystoriea public sphere than it ever had been during her academic career. It not only survives in the s, but it is more contagious than in the past. The concept of “hysteria” was historically applied only to women. The media slaps a title on it – Gulf War syndrome.

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Hystories: Hysterical Epidemics and Modern Culture

The subject is mass hysteria, or rather the different narratives of social phenomena of hysterical origin, such as Gulf War syndrome, fatigue syndrome, Satanic-ritual-abuse and elaien subcultures and the rest of the sorry farrago of conspiracy-theorist nonsense that passes for culture I’m not, as a rule, a sympathetic reader of feminist literature nor of contemporary criticism.

However, not enough references for a scholar trying to trace the same path – some very wide assertions made, and no obvious sources on multiple occasions for suowalter random statistics that litter the text. She feels that as times change, the popular hysteria of the times will change along with it.

Hysterical Epidemics and Modern Media has angered some in the health profession and many who suffer from these illnesses. Want to Read saving…. To see elaaine your friends thought of this book, please sign up.