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«... und Medea war eine Ärztin»

Constructions of Femininity in Public Debates about Medical Education for Women in Germany and Austria between 1870 and 1910


Magdalena Tarnawska

This book explores a shift in gender politics in Germany and Austria between 1870 and 1910 that was initiated by the struggle of middle-class women to gain access to higher education. Specifically, it investigates (pseudo) scientific, popular, and feminist discourses on the female body and sexuality in the context of public debates about medical education for women. The objective was to demonstrate how several female intellectuals attempted to negotiate new roles for women by responding directly to opponents of female education. Women‘s responses are important because, in addition to engaging in the negotiation of new gender roles, they document the emergence of a new female subjectivity. They also challenge the institutional, cultural, and social structures of the time. In addition, this book explores the role of medicine in creating gendered subjects and examines how popular concepts of gender differences influenced scientific investigation.
Contents: Medical Education – Education for Women – Gender – Femininity – Female Body – Gender Politics.