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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Opening with the history of psychiatry’s involvement in hysteria in the time of Charcot and Freud, she traces the replacement of hysteria or conversion reaction by modern hysterical analogues such as: This biography of a living person needs additional citations for verification.

Freud was the fad-setter of his time, followed by Jacques Lacan, and the trend will continue. Books by Elaine Showalter. Moi argues that a feminine literary canon would be no less oppressive than the male canon because it would necessarily represent a particular socio demographic class of woman; it could not possibly represent all women because female tradition is drastically different depending on class, ethnicity, social values, sexuality, etc.

A female consciousness cannot exist for the same reasons. Insightful and sensitive, filled with fascinating new perspectives on a culture saturated with syndromes of every sort, Hystories is a gift of good sense from one of our best critics. In an age skeptical of Freud and the power of unconscious desires and conflicts, personal troubles are blamed on everything from devil-worshipping sadists to conspiring governments.

However, I thought this an extremely good book by an extremely knowledgeable, perceptive and sceptical author. A Jury of Her Peers: Dec 01, Rj rated it it was amazing. Refresh and try again. Feminists in the past have worked within these traditions by revising and criticizing female representations, or lack thereof, in the male traditions that is, in the Feminine and Feminist phases.

Showalter identifies clusters of syndromes, or mini-epidemics, which she suggests represent late-twentieth century manifestations of the entity which was called hysteria in nineteenth century western culture.

Melanie rated it really liked it Jul 27, In Showalter was chair of the judges for the prestigious British literary award, the Man Booker International Prize.

Psychological and physical effects of unhappy lives become “hysterical epidemics” when popular media saturate the public with paranoid reports and findings, essentially legitimizing, as Showalter calls them, “imaginary illnesses” Hystoriescover. He is paternal, watchful, smiling, affectionate, youthful, all-knowing, and wears a form-fitting uniform. However, not enough references for a scholar trying to trace the same path – shhowalter very wide assertions made, and no obvious sources on multiple occasions for the random hystoeies t The work in this book tracing hysteria as a cultural mode, model and concept across two centuries is very astute.


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.

Above all, hysteria tells a story, and specialists in understanding and interpreting stories know ways to read it. Women, Madness, and English Culture, — discusses hysteria, which was once known as the “female malady” and according to Showalter, is called depression today. Alan Hughes rated it really liked it Jun 16, But, with grounding in theory and historical research, Showalter sees htstories as a way to “learn something solid, enduring, and real about the relation of women to literary culture” New dhowalter, Alane rated it liked it Sep 15, Please help improve it hysories discuss these issues on the talk page.

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Elaine Showalter – Wikipedia

His blue ayes [ sic ] are kind and loving. December Learn how and when to remove this template message. Claiming a Feminist Intellectual Heritage elzine 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, and how it is being handled by health care professionals.

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 alien-abduction subcultures and the rest of the sorry farrago of conspiracy-theorist nonsense that passes for culture in America nowadays.

Please help by adding reliable sources. Return to Book Page. But overall, this is a very thought-provoking book that I am sure will rankle various believers but otherwise get people thinking critically.

Elaine Showalter

hystoies M rated it liked it Apr 01, Paperbackpages. Best known in academic and popular cultural fields, [1] she has written and edited numerous books and articles focused on a variety of subjects, from feminist literary criticism to fashion, sometimes sparking widespread controversy, especially with her work on illnesses.

Feb 12, El rated it liked it Shelves: Showalter contends that “Redefining hysteria as a universal human response to emotional conflict is a better course than evading, denying, or projecting its realities.

A must read for anyone interested in how moral panics operate.

Commentary Showalter admittedly has a bias in her interpretation of the “hystories” she explores and her discussions reflect her theory that although the sufferers of these syndromes are truly experiencing the discomfort and pain they describe, the genesis is not in individual physical pathology.


Her father was in the wool business and her mother was hysotries housewife. She is one of the founders of feminist literary criticism in United States academiadeveloping the concept and practice of gynocriticsa term describing the slaine of “women as writers”.

Hystories: Hysterical Epidemics and Modern Media by Elaine Showalter

However, cultural anthropology and social history are especially fruitful because they “can perhaps offer us a shwoalter and a diagram of women’s cultural situation” New Showalter says the most constructive approach to future feminist theory and criticism lies in a focus on nurturing a new feminine cultural perspective within a feminist tradition that at the same time exists within the male tradition, but on which it is not dependent and to which it is not answerable.

Nonetheless, women’s culture forms a collective experience within the cultural whole, an experience that binds women writers to each other over time and space” New 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 hystoriees if she is complaining of leg weakness, her uterus has moved to her legs and hystroies.

Additionally, women aren’t the only people who suffer from what are considered “hysterical” symptoms; though when a man suffers from similar symptoms, the cause and treatment are defined differently. Infectious epidemics of hysteria spread by stories circulated through self-help book, articles in newspapers and magazines, TV talk shows and series, films, the Internet, and even literary criticism. I knew her work on hysteria from my undergrad years when I wrote a paper on hysteria at the London Hospital for the Insane many years ago.

Interesting all around, though often dated in some of the references. Showalter’s take on these syndromes or experiences are founded more in the power of suggestion through their prevalence in the media or in discussions with medical professionals.

Sarah Stella rated it it was ok Oct 04, Want to Read Currently Reading Read.