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Doctor and Divine

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Kelly Bezio

on 22 January 2019

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Transcript of Doctor and Divine

Doctor and Divine:
Why study Medicine, Religion, and American Literature?
The Secularization Thesis
(quick 'n dirty)
Science takes over religion's place in society
What's the conflict, according to the secularization thesis?
Religion & Science have a combative relationship - they fight to occupy the same place and level of importance in society.
Our Class Goal:
Create a never-ending lists of the other kinds of relationships that exist between medicine and religion by analyzing literary representations.
We're going to look for conflicts in novels (between characters,for instance) that SHOW us how medicine and religion coexist, whether harmoniously, uneasily, pugnaciously, or otherwise.
Medicine, Religion, and American Literature
ENGL 4362: Topics in American Literature
Prof. Kelly L. Bezio

"Science" includes medicine and health in addition to other sciences--geology, chemistry, etc.
Meaning that before a certain point in history (for some its the 18th century, for others the turn of the 20th century), religion was responsible for organizing society: it's values, individuals' relationships to each, political hierarchies, economic systems, etc.
What examples can you think of that support this argument? What examples can you think of that counter this argument?
Unit 1
Unit 2
Unit 3
Unit 4
The Foucault Files
Other Critical Voices
Foucault on transgression:

"Transgression, then, is not related to the limit as black to white, the prohibited to the lawful, the outside to the inside, or as the open area of a building to its enclosed spaces. Rather, their relationship takes the form of a spiral which no simple infraction can exhaust. Perhaps it is like a flash of lightning in the night which, from the beginning of time, gives a dense and black intensity to the night it denies, which lights up the night from the inside, from top to bottom, and yet owes to the dark the stark clarity of its manifestation, its harrowing and poised singularity; the flash loses itself in this space it marks with its sovereignty and becomes silent now that it has given a name to obscurity" (61).
Thomas Eakins
The Gross Clinic
, 1875
Tiffany DeRewal - "The Resurrection and the Knife: Protestant Cadavers and the Rise of American Medicine"
"This essay will consider how the training of physicians in the so-called heroic age of American medicine both shaped and was shaped by early national Protestantism, and how, in turn, the imaginative, spiritualized discourse of the medical establishment extended beyond the bounds of physician's rhetoric to inform antebellum American literature and cultural ideology. I focus on a watershed moment in the development of institutionalized medicine: the public controversy surrounding the practice of anatomical dissection in medical schools [....]

The defenders of anatomical medicine in the early American republic did not universally reject the religious values and rhetoric of the people who rioted against dissections and bodysnatching. Some physicians and their advocates imaginatively remodeled the Christian principles that had been wielded against them, creating a space for medical intervention within Protestant paradigms of resurrections and redemption. Protestant rhetoric absolved the morally suspect practice of dissection by making it both inherently American and inherently Christian, redeeming stigmatized medical students and marginalized bodies alike [....]

Rather than replace religion with rationality, the author of 'Dissection Viewed with Reference to Resurrection' proposes to replace false dogma with a more authentic mode of worship through anatomical study. In the hands of the anatomist, the corpse is no longer a sign of decay and sinful mortality. It is instead a 'sanctuary' and 'temple,' a holy and revered space of communion. Casting anatomy's opponents as spiritually backward and framing the corpse as a window into the miraculous human form, the writer presents dissection as a spiritually uplifting practice for both practitioners and subjects" (390-392)
Other Concepts
Religious: concerning the system or life committed to worshiping a specific supernatural controlling power.

Spiritual: pertaining to spirits, supernatural, pure, holy, sacred, higher endowments of the mind or intellect.

concerned with the affairs of the world
not spiritual or sacred
not concerned with religion or religious belief
"No society can exist that does not feel the need at regular intervals to sustain and reaffirm the collective feelings and ideas that constitute its unity and its personality. Now, this moral remaking can be achieved only by means of meetings, assemblies, or congregations in which individuals, brought into close contact, reaffirm in common their common feelings: hence those ceremonies whose goals, results, and methods do not differ in kind from properly religious ceremonies. What essential difference is there between an assembly of Christians commemorating the principle moments in the life of Christ, or Jews celebrating either the exodus from Egypt or the giving of the ten commandments, and a meeting of citizens commemorating the institution of a new moral charter or some great event in national life?" (322)

pious, devout
concerning belief in a superhuman controlling power (e.g. God) entitled to obedience or worship
"Religion has clearly performed great services for human civilization. It has contributed much towards the taming of the asocial instincts. But it is not enough. It has ruled human society for many thousands of years and has had time to show what it can achieve. If it had succeeded in making the majority of mankind happy, in comforting them, in reconciling them to life and in making them into vehicles of civilization, no one would dream of attempting to alter the existing conditions. But what do we see instead? We see that an appallingly larger number of people are dissatisfied with civilization and unhappy in it, and feel it as a yoke which must be shaken off; and that these people either do everything in their power to change that civilization, or else go far in their hostility to it that they will have nothing to do with civilization or with a restriction of instinct. At this point it will be objected against us that this state of affairs is due to the very fact that religion has lost a part of its influence over human masses precisely because of the deplorable effect of the advances of science [....] Let us admit that the reason--though perhaps not the only reason--for this change is the increase of the scientific spirit in the higher strata of human society. Criticism has whittled away the evidential value of religious documents, natural science has shown up the errors in them, and comparative research has been struck by the fatal resemblance between the religious ideas which we revere and the mental products of primitive peoples and times" (47; 49)
"What the religiously vibrant era of the seventeenth century bequeathed to its utilitarian heir was, however, above all a tremendously clear [...] conscience when it came to making money, provided only that it was lawfully done [....] A specifically middle-class ethic of the calling arose. In the consciousness of living in the full grace of God and being visibly blessed by him, the middle-class businessman was able to pursue his commercial interests. Indeed, provided he conducted himself within the bounds of formal correctness, and as long as his moral conduct was beyond reproach and the use to which he put his wealth gave no offense, it was his duty to do so" (118-119).
"Hence, too, its [medicine's] prestige in the concrete forms of existence: health replaces salvation, said Guardia. This is because medicine offers modern man the obstinate, yet reassuring face of his finitude; in it, death is endlessly repeated, but it is also exorcized; and

although it ceaselessly reminds man of the limit that he bears within him, it also speaks to him of that technical world that is the armed, positive, full form of his finitude.
At that point in time, medical gestures, words, gazes took on a philosophical density that had formerly belonged only to mathematical thought. The importance of Bichat, Jackson, and Freud in European culture does not prove that they were philosophers as well as doctors, but that, in this culture, medical thought is fully engaged in the philosophical status of man" (198).
Healthy: free from physical or psychological disease; to be in a state of balance or well-being.

Well: complete, accurate, satisfactory, fully; in such a manner as is desirable.
Hawthorne assessing his own book, The Scarlet Letter:

"There is an introduction to this book giving a sketch of my custom-house life, with an imaginative touch here and there, which may, perhaps, be more widely attractive than the main narrative. The latter lacks sunshine, etc."

-in a letter to his friend Horatio Bridge, February 4, 1850

Eudaimonia: Greek concept meaning happiness, welfare, or human flourishing.



What are our (popular) definitions of these terms?
How does Kleinman define them?
How does the Bible define them?
How does Abigail Abbot Bailey define them?
Arthur Kleinman on illness narratives:

“The illness narrative is a story the patient tells, and significant others retell, to give coherence to the distinctive events and long-term course of suffering. The plot lines, core metaphors, and rhetorical devices that structure the illness narrative are drawn from cultural and personal models for arranging experiences in meaningful ways and for effectively communicating those meanings…The personal narrative does not merely reflect illness experience, but rather it contributes to the experience of symptoms and suffering. To fully appreciate the sick person’s and the family’s experience, the clinician must first piece together the illness narrative as it emerges from the patient’s and the family’s complaints and explanatory models; then he or she must interpret it in light of the different modes of illness meanings—symptom symbols, culturally salient illnesses, personal and social contexts” (49).
The Captivity Narrative,
according to Richard Slotkin
"In [a captivity narrative] a single individual, usually a woman, stands passively under the strokes of evil, awaiting rescue by the grace of God. The sufferer represents the whole, chastened body of Puritan society; and the temporary bondage of the captive to the Indian is dual paradigm-- of the bondage of the soul to the flesh and the temptations arising from original sin, and of the self-exile of the English Israel from England. In the Indian's devilish clutches, the captive had to meet and reject the temptation of Indian marriage and/or the Indian's "cannibal" Eucharist. To partake of the Indian's love or of his equivalent of bread and wine was to debase, to un-English the very soul. The captive's ultimate redemption by the grace of Christ and the efforts of the Puritan magistrates is likened to the regeneration of the soul in conversion. The ordeal is at once threatful of pain and evil and promising of ultimate salvation. Through the captive's proxy, the promise of a similar salvation could be offered to the faithful among the reading public, while the captive's torments remained to harrow the hearts of those not yet awakened to their fallen nature" (Regeneration Through Violence)
Dr. Jason Farr, PhD
Assistant Professor of English
“The Social Model of Disability and Abigail Bailey’s Memoirs”
The Social Model of Disability
Popularized medicine
Print culture and reading
Circulating knowledge
Consumer society

Historicizing “Health” and “Wellness” in the 18th Century

The concept of “normalcy”
Pamela: or, Virtue Rewarded
Samuel Richardson
Pilgrim’s Progress
John Bunyan
Incredibly important concept in the eighteenth century
Relationships between Medicine & Religion
same (try to "save" people)
Foucault, Lecture 1
But what if keeping some people in and others out makes it harder to be in power & harder to make money?
Control the internal workings of the city itself
Layout of town & regulate the activities of the sick
How to control the circulation of people?
Solution: Control them through their bodies!
= Biopower
Dr. Peter N. Moore
Joe B. Frantz Associate Professor of History
The South Carolina Diary of Reverend Archibald Simpson
Foucault, "Right of Death and Power over Life"

"One of these poles--the first to be formed, it seems--centered on the body as a machine: its disciplining, the optimization of its capabilities, the extortion of its forces, the parallel increase of its usefulness and its docility, its integration into systems of efficient and economic controls, all this was ensured by the procedures of power that characterized the disciplines: an anatomo-politics of the human body. The second, formed somewhat later, focused on the species body, the body imbued with the mechanics of life and serving as the basis of the biological processes: propagation, births and morality, the level of health, life expectancy and longevity, with all the conditions that can cause these to vary. Their supervision was effected through an entire series of interventions and regulatory controls: a bio-politics of the population" (44).
Iola Leroy
The Crux
Sovereign Power vs. Biopower
Pathologies define what is normal (not vice versa)
"We must not make the mistake of thinking that sex is an autonomous agency which secondarily produces manifold effects of sexuality over the entire length of its surface of contact with power. On the contrary, sex is the most speculative, most ideal, and most internal element in a deployment of sexuality organized by power in its grip on bodies and their materiality, their forces, energies, sensations, and pleasures" (Foucault 56).
Impairment: physical reality of the body (e.g. hearing loss, vision loss, mobility loss)

Disability: social elements that create barriers
: power creates physical spaces that limit bodies access to those spaces.
Smallpox in Charleston:

This day saw a good number of famelies passing downward from the back settlements, where many have been cut of by the Indians, and that all those parts are in the most deplorable state of complicated misery & distress. Nothing to be seen of heard but house burning, women & children left helpless in the woods, murders, rapine, and devastation, such as would melt any heart but an Indian, the most horrid cruelties committed upon the living, and the most savage indecencies to dead bodies. And to render our stroke yet more terrible the smallpox is raging as a pestilence in severel places, Especialy in Charlestown. This is truely the most awful time ever I or the oldest person in these parts saw, The Lord Jehovah in anger seems to be giving us the dregs of the cup of wrath to drink, which has for some years in the hand of the other provinces, but we were secure, lifted up and hardened. Was helped to prayer and crying to the Lord for the province, for this parish, for my poor Congregation and for my famely that the Lord may be our hiding and dwelling place.

This day was appointed by his excellency our Governour to be Observed as a day of publick thanksgiving to almighty God for the success of his majesties arms during the last Champaign, such a day has already been observed thro all his majesties dominions both at home and abroad, and altho this be a time perhaps of as great distress as ever this province saw, thro the most horrid barbarities of the Indians, and the raging distemper of the smallpox, which makes dreadful havvock in many places, and by their innoculating so many hundreds in Charlestown, which has proved very unsuccessful, it has turned into a most dreadful malignancy by which numbers are daily swept off, tho these things seemed to call for fasting and humiliation rather than thanksgiving, yet as such a day has been appointed by his most excellent Majesty, and as we have the highest reason on many accounts to bless and praise the Lord, Espesialy for our success in the present war against the French, it was thought proper no longer to delay observing a day for publick thanksgiving.
Throat Distemper:

"This morning poorly and very much indisposed with a cold, something of a Soreness, and Swelling in my throat, which gave me some uneasiness as I am So very subject to most distressing disorder & inflammations in my throat and as for many months a most fatal disorder, Called the throat distemper, has prevailed in Charlestown and in some parts of the Country very Mortal & has lately made its appearance in both these parishes. The most able physicians both in this and the Neighbouring Colonies look upon it to be an intirely new disorder not known in Europe or at least never so violent & fatal there as in America. They look upon it also to be something of a plague or pestilence and as a Scourge raised up by Divine providence to prevent the growth & increase of the American British provinces."
How have you experienced biopower today?
Did your experience of biopower give you a social advantage or put a social barrier in place?
What happens when an experience with religion comes into contact with an experience of biopower?
The Secularization Thesis

Language = complex systems of communication (pictographs, alphabets, words, grammars, codes, dialects, etc.)
What are examples of systems of communication in Harper's novel Iola Leroy?
Teams 3 & 4 vote and provide rationale for which team wins
Team 3: language is a form of divine power vs. Team 4: language is not a form of divine power
Teams 1 & 2 vote and provide rationale for which team wins
Team 1: language is a form of biopower vs. Team 2: language is not a form of biopower
Everyone is responsible for finding at least one piece of evidence, helping to construct the argument the speaker will deliver, listening carefully to the opposing team in order to offer ideas for rebuttal, and listening carefully to the other debate to make an evidence-based decision about why which team should win.
Dr. Anne Stiles
"The Rest Cure, 1873-1925"
S. Weir Mitchell
"During the Civil War, Mitchell served as a contract surgeon in the U.S. army. At Turner’s Lane Military Hospital in Philadelphia, Mitchell treated battle veterans with severe nerve damage caused by bullet wounds. He observed that many of these men were rendered helpless and even “hysterical” by prolonged nerve pain (qtd. in Cervetti 77). Yet little could be done for these desperate patients, short of amputation of injured limbs and injection of narcotics for pain. So Mitchell adopted a regimen of rest and nutrition to help these men build up injured nerve tissue. As Nancy Cervetti observes, Mitchell’s treatment of injured soldiers involved the four major components that would later constitute the rest cure: “rest, a fattening diet, massage, and electricity” (74). The massage and electric stimulation of muscles were employed in lieu of physical exercise, since many patients were bedridden.
"The rest cure was highly regimented. Mitchell strove for an atmosphere of “order and control” that would serve as “moral medication” for coddled or selfish invalids (Fat and Blood 41). Typically, the patient was not allowed to read, write, sew, feed herself, or have contact with friends or family. She had to lie down in bed for six weeks to two months. During this time, she needed the doctor’s permission to sit up in bed or turn over without assistance. Massage and electrical stimulation were used to ensure that her muscles did not atrophy from lying in bed day after day. But perhaps the most daunting aspect of the rest cure was the amount of food consumed. A typical daily menu was enormous, including “a light breakfast. . . a mutton chop as a midday dinner. . . bread and butter thrice a day,” and “three or four pints of milk, which are given at and after meals.” To this might be added iron supplements, doses of strychnine, arsenic, and cod liver oil, as well as “one pound of beef, in the form of raw
soup. This is made by chopping up one pound of raw beef, placing it in a bottle with one pint of water and five drops of strong chlorohydric acid” (Fat and Blood 78-9). Women who refused this heavy diet might be force-fed through the nose or rectum, or, in rare cases, whipped to ensure obedience (Poirier 23)."
"While it is important to acknowledge Mitchell’s positive interactions with women, he was generally more
sympathetic toward the nervous men in his care.[3] While Mitchell put anxious women to bed, his male patients
could choose either to rest or to journey West. Mitchell’s so-called “West Cure” for nervous men involved cattle
roping, rough riding, hunting, and bonding with other men in rugged frontier locations. These activities supposedly
rehabilitated neurasthenic men for further success in business and intellectual pursuits. Famous recipients of this
cure included future U.S. President Theodore Roosevelt, painter Thomas Eakins, poet Walt Whitman, and
novelist Owen Wister, the author of The Virginian (1902). West Cure patients typically enjoyed their treatment;
Eakins, for instance, returned looking “built up miraculously” after his trip to the Dakota Badlands (qtd. in Stiles).
Eakins lovingly recorded his journey in a series of letters, sketches, and paintings. "
Thomas Eakins
"The police deals with religion, not, of course, from the point of view of dogmatic truth, but from that of the moral quality of life. In seeing to health and supplies, it deals with the preservation of life: concerning trade, factories, workers, the poor and public order, it deals with the conveniences of life. In seeing to the theater, literature, entertainment, its object is life's pleasures. In short, life is the object of the police: the indispensable, the useful, and the superfluous. That people survive, live, and even do better than just that, is what the police has to ensure" (150).
Pastoral power, the state, the police
Pastoral care
In-Class Peer Conversations

Step 1: what is the main point you'd like your project to make?
Step 2: Spend 1o minutes per group member helping her or him come up with ways for the project to better articulate its main point.
Step 3: Use the template appendix to identify portions of your project in which to insert templates, better verbs, transition words, etc. Work together to find suitable moves for your partners!
Step 4: Begin revising your prose using templates.
Mayo Clinic on the symptoms of syphilis
Primary syphilis

The first sign of syphilis is a small sore, called a chancre (SHANG-kur). The sore appears at the spot where the bacteria entered your body. While most people infected with syphilis develop only one chancre, some people develop several of them. The chancre usually develops about three weeks after exposure. Many people who have syphilis don't notice the chancre because it's usually painless, and it may be hidden within the vagina or rectum. The chancre will heal on its own within six weeks.

Secondary syphilis

Within a few weeks of the original chancre healing, you may experience a rash that begins on your trunk but eventually covers your entire body — even the palms of your hands and the soles of your feet. This rash is usually not itchy and may be accompanied by wart-like sores in the mouth or genital area. Some people also experience muscle aches, fever, sore throat and swollen lymph nodes. These signs and symptoms may disappear within a few weeks or repeatedly come and go for as long as a year.

Latent syphilis

If you aren't treated for syphilis, the disease moves from the secondary to the latent (hidden) stage, when you have no symptoms. The latent stage can last for years. Signs and symptoms may never return, or the disease may progress to the tertiary (third) stage.

Tertiary (late) syphilis

About 15 to 30 percent of people infected with syphilis who don't get treatment will develop complications known as tertiary (late) syphilis. In the late stages, the disease may damage your brain, nerves, eyes, heart, blood vessels, liver, bones and joints. These problems may occur many years after the original, untreated infection.

Congenital syphilis

Babies born to women who have syphilis can become infected through the placenta or during birth. Most newborns with congenital syphilis have no symptoms, although some experience a rash on the palms of their hands and the soles of their feet. Later symptoms may include deafness, teeth deformities and saddle nose — where the bridge of the nose collapses.
Charlotte Perkins Gilman
Dana Seitler
"Unnatural Selection"
"Gilman's regeneration narratives articulate a paradigm
of white, middle-class motherhood as a model of social progress. Her work-like the regeneration scenario that Slotkin describes-in part depends upon the narrative logic of the western or adventure novel that prescribes a separation from modern life and a temporary regression to a more "natural" state. Yet, by simultaneously foregrounding the economic autonomy of women and their reproductive status, Gilman's regeneration narratives suggest that ideologies of national progress (indeed, of U.S. expansionism and the project of empire) have depended upon the energies of motherhood at least as much as those of masculine contest. By substituting reproductive competence for masculine virility, Gilman's regeneration narratives attempt to remedy "the ills of modernity"-what she characterizes in Women and Economics as a time in which "human motherhood is more pathological than any other, more morbid, defective, irregular, diseased." Gilman's fiction and non-fiction function together as an agenda for feminist rescue. By representing eugenic ideology as the source of this rescue, they racialize the language of feminism" (66)

Urban Dictionary Defines
"Slut Shaming"
An unfortunate phenomenon in which people degrade or mock a woman because she enjoys having sex, has sex a lot, or may even just be rumored to participate in sexual activity. Often it's accompanied by urban legends such as the common virgin misconception that the vagina becomes larger or looser with use-- in fact, sex has no effect on vaginal size.

However, since most people would rather women be MORE sexually active than less, slut shaming is counterproductive to the aims of most men and quite a few ladies.

Guy 1: Ha ha Megan had sex with two guys, she's such a SLUT!

Guy 2: You idiot, do you want her to stop having sex? We should be encouraging this. Your slut shaming will simply discourage more women from sleeping with us and we will be virgins forever.
Biological Sins
Web MD on Free-Range Parenting
"Almost as a backlash to the overbearing, over-scheduling “helicopter” parent, free-range parenting is based on the notion “that we can give our children the same kind of freedom we had [as kids] without going nuts with worry,” Skenazy says. “When you let children out, all the good things happen - the self-confidence, happiness, and self-sufficiency that come from letting our kids do some things on their own,” she says.

Sounds great, but even non “hovering” moms wouldn’t dream of doing what Skenazy did.

Liz Jereski, a mother of two living in Los Angeles, says simple requests from her 5-year-old son bring into question how much autonomy she can safely allow him. Recently, Jereski’s son wanted to race her downstairs in their apartment building. “I would take the elevator and he would take the stairs,” she says of the game her son proposed. “And I’ll think it’s fine, but then I think, no it’s not fine, because he’ll be out of my sight and something could happen. There’s a little voice telling you, ‘You know better and you shouldn’t do that.’”

Dr. Bellair to Vivian Lane: "Beware of a biological sin, my dear; for it there is no forgiveness" (130).
Review Game - How to Play
Kelly asks a test question, such as...
What is the secularization thesis?
Who wrote "The Yellow Wall-Paper"?
Team A answers correctly and must pose an open-ended analytic question to the other teams, such as...
If Foucault were here today, how might he explain the relationship between transgression and pastoral care? Use one of our primary works (by Gilman, Hawthorne, Harper, or Bailey) to illustrate your answer.
Teams B, C, D, E have 90 seconds to compose their answer & 30 seconds to deliver it. Answers need to include 2 sentences: a thesis and analysis of an example that proves the thesis. Team A determines which team(s) receive point(s) for their answers.
HOMEWORK: everyone must bring THREE analytic questions for their groups to use in the game. I will collect these questions at the end of class.
What's Going to Be on the EXAM?
Short answer questions that should take you 10 minutes. They will ask you to apply course concepts (biopower, health/wellness, secularization, etc.) to primary readings of your choice.

Quotation identifications and analysis questions that should take you 10 minutes. They will ask you to identify the author and the title from which a quotation is drawn (fiction, non-fiction, secondary works = fair game). Next you will need to close read the passage in order to articulate its meaning (thesis) and significance (so what?).

Longer essay that should take you approximately 30 minutes. It will ask you to use texts of your choice to answer a "big picture," open-ended analytical question thematically related to our course material (but that likely has not be asked in our discussions).
What Do I Need to BRING to the Exam?
Blue book(s)
One notecard with notes (tiny handwriting/printing is okay)
Magnifying glass (optional)
Drinks, snacks, earbuds, mp3 players
an empty bladder - no bathroom breaks allowed!
All answers must start with a thesis and use specific examples from texts in analysis that proves the thesis. (No introductions or conclusions needed).
Elizabeth Fenton
"The Secularization Narrative and Nineteenth-Century American Literature"
"In the Custom-House where he finds the scarlet letter, the narrator of Nathaniel Hawthorne's _The Scarlet Letter_ (1850) ponders his Puritan ancestry with some measure of trepidation .... Pragmatic, reasonable, and thoughtful, Hawthorne's narrator is a picture of modernity's triumph over religious zeal. His idle creativity might mark a decline from the lofty pursuits of his orthodox forebears, but at least he has never hanged a suspected witch (or affixed an "A" to a lonely woman's dress)" (61)
In _A Cambridge Companion to American Literary Studies, 2011
Secularization v. Secularism
"Look at this amazing cake I made!"
"Look at all these different cakes that have been made in different ways all over the world and across time!"
Full transcript