Bad History, birth, doctors, gender, language, midwives, novels, sex

Agnodice: reading the story

Agnodice, 'the first midwife'? Why this is a myth, and a powerful one at that.

death, dissection, Galen, teaching

Fun with pigs

  Finally, I understand what it is about dissection… Among other things, I’ve been a visiting professor at a medical school. As a recently-founded medical school, this one does not teach through human dissection. Instead, students learn their anatomy through books, computer simulations, models, and ‘surface anatomy’. The rationale is not just about the difficulty… Continue reading Fun with pigs

beards, gender, midwives, womb

Agnodice: down and dirty?

The gestation of a book is an odd thing... So there I was watching a superb drag burlesque act, The Down and Dirty Show, featuring The Gentleman King and Foxy Tann, the scheduled entertainment at the 2011 Berkshire Conference for Women Historians. And the sky opened. Sometimes moments of insight come when you least expect… Continue reading Agnodice: down and dirty?

midwives

The ideal midwife?

What do we look for in a midwife? Short nails feature a lot in the history of midwifery! Back in the second century AD, a doctor called Soranus wrote a book we now know as the Gynaecology. In consecutive chapters, he first answers the question ‘Who is able to become a midwife?’ and then turns… Continue reading The ideal midwife?