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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She is one of the founders of feminist literary criticism in United States academiadeveloping the concept and practice of gynocriticsa term describing the study of “women as writers”.

I picked the book up again this time because I was thinking about contemporary anti-vaxxers hystoriss how their pa I vaguely remember skimming through this book back when it first came out in the 90s and I was researching for a presentation on the relationship of Sunday night viewing habits of Americans who alternatively watched X-Files and Touched By an Angel basically, hystorise premise was around the t.

Most particularly, her analysis of chronic fatigue hysfories is appalling and invidious, and harmful to the million US sufferers and many millions more worldwide.

Showalter acknowledges the difficulty of “[d]efining the unique difference of women’s writing” which she says is “a slippery and demanding task” in “Feminist Criticism in the Wilderness” New Her book is, in the end, a critique of the contemporary social-science establishment from the inside. Contentious material about living persons that is unsourced or poorly sourced must be removed immediatelyespecially if potentially libelous or harmful.

Hystories: Hysterical Epidemics and Modern Media by Elaine Showalter

December Learn how and when to remove this template message. Retrieved from ” https: A doctor of other authority figure must first define, name, and publicize the disorder and then attract patients into its community. Moi particularly criticized Showalter’s ideas regarding the Showaltef phase, and its notions of a woman’s singular autonomy and necessary search inward for a female identity.

Hysterical Epidemics and Modern Media has angered some in the health profession and many who suffer from these illnesses. Rather gynocritics aims to understand women’s writing not as a product of sexism but as a fundamental aspect of female reality. I picked the book up again this time because I elainne thinking about contemporary anti-vaxxers and how their paranoid behavior presents a larger hystpries health threat — asking myself, ‘are these people hysterical?


Please help by adding reliable sources. For example, she notes how alien abductions start to become more international into the late 20th century, but that the details take on local color; so while aliens appear to American abductees as smarmy “men in black” invaders, Showalter writes that in contrast: This article possibly contains original research.

She seems to be appealing to the health care system to reconsider its tendency to label unexplained symptoms as disease and instead to find ways to confront the cultural paranoia from which she feels these symptoms spring. To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

The work in this book tracing hysteria as a cultural mode, model and concept across two centuries is very astute.

Hystories: Hysterical Epidemics and Modern Culture

Just as there is a difference between a soldier with PTSD or ‘shell shock’ and someone who claims their dog has the same condition, this book seems to elide the CFS sufferers into the ‘and my dog’ category.

Preview — Hystories by Elaine Showalter. Suddenly there are women going to their health professionals across the world with similar symptoms with no clear explanation.

The 80s and 90s brought into the media a different sort of woman – the ambitious, the hardworking, the Supermom. Showalter was the television critic for People magazine in Her most innovative work in this field is in madness and hysteria in literature, specifically in women’s writing and in the portrayal of female characters.

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. Arrogant and sweeping generalisations about multiple cultural phenomena that should not belong together in one volume. Nineteenth-century French doctors organized their case studies of hysterical women according to the conventions of the French novel, especially in its seduction scenes, and writers hyztories their portraits of seductive or unhappy women on medical textbooks.

However, I thought this an extremely good book by an extremely knowledgeable, perceptive and sceptical author.


Moi’s criticism was influential as part of a larger debate between essentialist and postmodern feminist theorists at the time. Josh Barlas rated it it was amazing Oct 31, Refresh and try again.

Elaine Showalter

Views Read Edit View history. Multiple personality syndrome has become Dissociative identity disorder, and not many people really question the legitimacy of the person suffering or even consider mentioning it in the same breath as alien abduction – though Showalter is not shy. Showalter has been a television critic for People magazine and a commentator on BBC radio and television.

Chronic fatigue syndrome, recovered memory, Gulf War syndrome, Multiple personality syndrome, alien abduction, and satanic ritual abuse.

Showalter’s book Inventing Herselfa survey of feminist icons, was the culmination of a lengthy interest in communicating the importance of understanding feminist tradition. However, not hystroies references for a scholar trying to trace the same path – some very wide assertions made, and no obvious sources on multiple occasions for the random statistics t The work in this book tracing hysteria as a cultural mode, model and concept across two centuries is very astute.

Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read. It’s a standing joke that Americans no longer view themselves as sinners struggling with the guilt of lust, avarice or greed but rather as sick people addicted to sex, shopping, or sweets. 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 shoalter conspiracy-theorist nonsense that passes for culture I’m not, as a rule, a sympathetic reader of feminist literature nor of contemporary criticism.

In a predominantly poststructuralist era that proposes that meaning is contextual and historical, and that identity is socially and linguistically constructed, Moi claimed that there is no fundamental female self. She explains her impetus to do popular cultural work: