The Female Body and Biomedical Discourse in the Nineteenth-Century English Novel
Routledge – 2006 – 210 pages
Gendered Pathologies examines nineteenth-century literary representations of the pathologized female body in relation to biomedical discourses about gender and society in Victorian England. Analyzing novels by Charles Dickens, H. Rider Haggard, and Thomas Hardy alongside Foucault's notion of perverse sexualities and Herbert Spencer's model of the social organism, Archimedes argues that the pathologized female body displaces or resolves, on a narrative level, larger cultural anxieties about the health of the British as a species.
INTRODUCTION "Derangements of the Uterus" and Other Mysteries
CHAPTER 1 Science, Gender, and the Nineteenth Century
CHAPTER 2 Towards a Discourse of Perversion: Female Deviance, Sibling Incest, and the Bourgeois Family in Dickens's Hard Times
CHAPTER 3 Women, Savages, and the Body of Africa: Rider Haggard's She as Biological Narrative
CHAPTER 4 "Shapes like our own selves hideously multiplied": Sue Bridehead, Reproduction, and the Disease of "Modern Civilization"
AFTERWORD Female Deviance in the Twenty-First Century: From Martha Stewart to Lynndie England
Sondra M. Archimedes is a lecturer at U.C. Santa Cruz.