Courtney’s Topic: Women’s Hysteria in the Nineteenth Century

In this paper/project I would like to propose the effects that hysteria had on women and their reputation in the nineteenth century or if they were more prone to hysterical behavior due to the lack of power they had in American society. I also would like to study if hysteria had an effect on the perceptions of women’s bodies. I have found primary and secondary sources that account for the many beliefs that women were hysterical. There are also sources that discuss what they used for “cures”. I would like to also find more about the women who were committed to the asylum because of the belief of hysteria. I am considering doing a blog on this topic instead of a paper.

Appingnanesi, Lisa. Sad, Mad and Bad: Women and the Mind-Doctors from 1800. Toronto: McArthur & Company, 2007.

Chesler, Phyllis. Women And Madness. New York: Palgrave Macmillian, 2005.

Grob, Gerald, N. Mental Illness and American Society, 1875-1940. Princeton, Princeton University Press, 1983.

Lewis-Hall, Freda. Psychiatric Illness in Women: Emerging Treatments and Research. Washington DC, American Psychiatric Publishing Inc., 2002.

Lunbeck, Elizabeth. The Psychiatric Persuasion: Knowledge, Gender, and Power in Modern America. Princeton, Princeton University Press, 1994.

Maines, Rachel P. The Technology of Orgasm: “Hysteria,” the Vibrator, and Women’s Sexual Satisfaction. Baltimore, The Johns Hopkins University Press, 1999.

Schwartz, Casey. 2011. “A Case of the Hysterics.” Newsweek 158, no. 23: 22. Academic Search   Complete, EBSCOhost (accessed September 9, 2013).

Smith-Rosenberg, Carroll. “The Hysterical Woman: Sex Roles and Role Conflict in 19th-century America.” Vol. 39, no. 4 (Winter 1972): 652-678.

Ussher, Jane M. Women’s Madness: Misogyny or Mental Illness? Amherst, University of   Massachusetts Press, 1991.

Wenegrat, Brant. Illness and Power: Women’s Mental Disorders and the Battle between the Sexes. New York: New York University Press, 1995.


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