The Palgrave Handbook of Infertility in History: Approaches, Contexts and Perspectives

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Gayle Davis, Tracey Loughran
Springer, Sep 1, 2017 - History - 663 pages

This ground-breaking, interdisciplinary volume provides an overdue assessment of how infertility has been understood, treated and experienced in different times and places. It brings together scholars from disciplines including history, literature, psychology, philosophy, and the social sciences to create the first large-scale review of recent research on the history of infertility. Through exploring an unparalleled range of chronological periods and geographical regions, it develops historical perspectives on an apparently transhistorical experience. It shows how experiences of infertility, access to treatment, and medical perspectives on this ‘condition’ have been mediated by social, political, and cultural discourses. The handbook reflects on and interrogates different approaches to the history of infertility, including the potential of cross-disciplinary perspectives and the uses of different kinds of historical source material, and includes lists of research resources to aid teachers and researchers. It is an essential ‘go-to’ point for anyone interested in infertility and its history.

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Perspectives on Infertility
Part II The Body Politic and the Infertile Body
Part III Situating Infertility in Medicine
Part IV Agency and Invisibility in Constructions of Infertility
Part V Reproductive Technologies and Imagined Futures
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About the author (2017)

Gayle Davis is Senior Lecturer in the History of Medicine at the University of Edinburgh, UK, and has published extensively in the social history of medicine since c.1880. Her published work includes the books ‘The Cruel Madness of Love’: Sex, Syphilis and Psychiatry in Scotland, 1880-1930 (2008) and The Sexual State: Sexuality and Scottish Governance, 1950-80 (with Roger Davidson, 2012).

Tracey Loughran is Reader in History at the University of Essex, UK. Her research explores gender, medicine and psychology in twentieth-century Britain. Her major work to date is Shell-Shock and Medical Culture in First World War Britain (2016).

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