From Chaos to Creatures: Pregnancy and Embryology in Late Nineteenth and Early Twentieth Century America
In the early nineteenth century, American physicians and scientists referred to the objects included within pregnancy utilizing a variety of terms, including chaos, fruit, and “useless beings.” A hundred years later, most American medical officials agreed on a universal, standard interpretation of pregnancy that included “baby” within the pregnant woman. This talk will begin to explore the conceptual, medical, political, and social changes that transformed pregnancy, and the bodies involved, in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, exploring the role of physicians, early embryologists, pregnant women, and public health officials.
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