Presentation: “Femininity by Any Other Name: Hysteria, Witchcraft, and Chronic Illness”

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In my capacity as Visiting Scholar of Gender, Sexuality, and Women’s Studies at the University of Pittsburgh, I presented my work-in-progress on Fri. January 13, 2017, a packed room of scholars and professors.

My work, “Femininity By Any Other Name: Hysteria, Witchcraft, and Chronic Illness,” gave a brief overview of the over-three-thousand-year history of pathologizing femininity in what became Western medicine, connecting to the economic implications of the violent onset of capitalism during the medieval European witchhunts, and tracing the splintering of hysteria into today’s idiopathic chronic illnesses. I closed with prescriptions for where to go from here, from those who study and suffer chronic illness, in order to improve the health of everyone.

I was honored to share the time with Sylvia Grove of the French department, who gave a brilliant presentation on femininity and advertising in France entitled, “Lips and Hips: Sugar and the Marketing of French Femininity.”

Anderson & Grove Flyer

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