Thesis Revisions: Contextualization in AR History

Howard C. Westwood, “The Federals’ Cold Shoulder to Arkansas’ Powell Clayton,” Civil War History 26, no. 3 (1980): 240-255. Here Westwood tells the story of Reconstruction after Arkansas was reintegrated into the Union and Federal forces were removed. Ku Klux Klan violence was rampant, and the first Republican governor Powell Clayton was forced by a lack of … More Thesis Revisions: Contextualization in AR History

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The Nervous Origins of the American Western

Barbara Will, “The Nervous Origins of the American Western,” American Literature 20, no. 2 (1998): 293-316. Will looks at the role that neurasthenia played in the development of the idea of the American West, specifically in its literary iteration. Neurasthenia, as defined by George Beard and Silas Mitchell, was a disease brought on (specifically in men) by … More The Nervous Origins of the American Western

Before Freud

F. G. Gosling, Before Freud: Neurasthenia and the American Medical Community, 1870-1910 (Urbana: University of Illinois Press, 1987). Gosling provides a history of neurasthenia before Freud entered the scene of American psychology that considers those outside the “elite” group of physicians (Beard, Mitchell, and co.) who developed the concept in the late 19th century. As … More Before Freud

Exhaustion and the Pathologization of Modernity

Anna Katharina Schaffner, “Exhaustion and the Pathologization of Modernity,” Journal of Medical Humanities 37, no 3 (2016): 327-341. Argues that “exhaustion,” typically paired with other, varying symptoms, has factored into medical discourse in the 18th, 19th, 20th, and 21st centuries, and has functioned as a medicalized critique of technological advancement. Looks at works by George … More Exhaustion and the Pathologization of Modernity

Climate, Medicine, and Peruvian Health Resorts

Mark Carey, “Climate, Medicine, and Peruvian Health Resorts,” Science, Technology, and Human Values 39, no. 6 (2014): 795-818. Carey tells the story of Jauja, a health resort developed in mid-nineteenth century Peru. He argues that, through the veil of medico-scientific (and more specifically, climatological) discourse, physicians and other authority figures advocated for the development of … More Climate, Medicine, and Peruvian Health Resorts

Arkansas Medical Monthly (1880)

“Eureka Springs.” Arkansas Medical Monthly 1, no. 1 (1880): 1-3. “Notwithstanding, however, the ludicrous aspect placed upon the reputation of these springs in the eyes of the medical profession, induced by the enthusiastic exageration [sic] of the people, there is evidently something about them worthy of our attention and careful inquiry.” (34) “We visited the place … More Arkansas Medical Monthly (1880)

Intimate Climates

Vladimir Jankovic, “Intimate Climates: From Skins to Streets, Soirees to Societies,” in Intimate Universality: Local and Global Themes in the History of Weather and Climate eds. James Fleming, Vladimir Jankovic, and Deborah Coen, 1-34 (Sagamore Beach: Science History Publications, 2006). In this chapter, Jankovic is interested in the dichotomy of the indoor/outdoor and in understandings … More Intimate Climates

Selling Air

John Beckerson and John K. Walton, “Selling Air: Marking the Intangible at British Resorts,” in Histories of Tourism: Representation, Identity, and Conflict ed. John K. Walton, 55-68 (Channel View Publications, 2005). In this chapter, Beckerson and Walton analyze promotional material and medical/scientific opinion on air as a draw to different health resorts. They describe its … More Selling Air

The Politics of Medical Topography

Harriet Deacon, “The Politics of Medical Topography: Seeking healthiness at the Cape during the nineteenth century,” 279-297, in Pathologies of Travel eds. R. Wrigley and G. Revill (Amsterdam: Rodopi, 2000). Deacon focuses primarily upon the imperial, moral, and economic reasons that Cape Town faded as an important health resort spot in the 19th century. It … More The Politics of Medical Topography