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Medical Bondage: Race, Gender, and the Origins of American Gynecology by Deirdre Cooper Owens (review)

Medical Bondage: Race, Gender, and the Origins of American Gynecology by Deirdre Cooper Owens... Carolina—by virtue of being slave societies—were at once laboratories and repositories of knowledge. Hogarth’s insightful work will provoke important debates. “Black peo- ple’s bodies,” she warns at the outset of her study, “remain objects of the physician’s gaze” (13). Whereas some readers will object to her framework juxtaposing black bodies with white minds, Medicalizing Blackness offers a realistic picture of the power disparities at play. The author’s argument that medical theory translated into practice, however, is not always con- vincingly borne out by the evidence, which favors published guidebooks and treatises over archival sources such as plantation journals and phy- sicians’ daybooks. Racialized pathologies did not, in the end, necessarily result in racialized therapies. Still, Hogarth reminds us of the uncomfort- able fact that the development of slavery and professional medicine went hand in hand. As we are still grappling with the allure of racialized think- ing in medicine, so too will Hogarth’s work remain indispensable. Dale Kretz dale kretz is an assistant professor of African American history at Texas Tech University. He is currently working on a book manuscript about slavery and pensions in the age of emancipation. Medical Bondage: Race, Gender, and the Origins of American Gynecology. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png The Journal of the Civil War Era University of North Carolina Press

Medical Bondage: Race, Gender, and the Origins of American Gynecology by Deirdre Cooper Owens (review)

The Journal of the Civil War Era , Volume 9 (1) – Mar 1, 2019

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Publisher
University of North Carolina Press
Copyright
Copyright @ The University of North Carolina Press
ISSN
2159-9807

Abstract

Carolina—by virtue of being slave societies—were at once laboratories and repositories of knowledge. Hogarth’s insightful work will provoke important debates. “Black peo- ple’s bodies,” she warns at the outset of her study, “remain objects of the physician’s gaze” (13). Whereas some readers will object to her framework juxtaposing black bodies with white minds, Medicalizing Blackness offers a realistic picture of the power disparities at play. The author’s argument that medical theory translated into practice, however, is not always con- vincingly borne out by the evidence, which favors published guidebooks and treatises over archival sources such as plantation journals and phy- sicians’ daybooks. Racialized pathologies did not, in the end, necessarily result in racialized therapies. Still, Hogarth reminds us of the uncomfort- able fact that the development of slavery and professional medicine went hand in hand. As we are still grappling with the allure of racialized think- ing in medicine, so too will Hogarth’s work remain indispensable. Dale Kretz dale kretz is an assistant professor of African American history at Texas Tech University. He is currently working on a book manuscript about slavery and pensions in the age of emancipation. Medical Bondage: Race, Gender, and the Origins of American Gynecology.

Journal

The Journal of the Civil War EraUniversity of North Carolina Press

Published: Mar 1, 2019

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