Date of Graduation
Eberly College of Arts and Sciences
This dissertation traces the debates concerning the professionalization of medicine in America across the 19th- and well into the 20th-century and explores how the debates concerning professionalization in any given moment affected popular literary forms. Using Fredric Jameson’s The Political Unconscious as its theoretical framework, this dissertation’s chapters on the gothic, realism, naturalism, and satire trace each mode’s dominant hegemonic position on this issue while showcasing dissenting voices across this century-long discourse. This project’s methodology is centered in the New Historicism. Unlike other projects before it, this dissertation focuses primarily on the historical problem of state laws either regulating or deregulating the professionalization of medicine; however, it also emphasizes close attention to literary form as it traces the dominant and dissenting voices of these popular literary modes. Authors surveyed across this project include Nathaniel Hawthorne, Edgar Allan Poe, H.P. Lovecraft, William Dean Howells, Elizabeth Stuart Phelps, Sarah Jewett, Annie Meyer, S. Weir Mitchell, Charlotte Perkins Gilman, Frank Norris, John Steinbeck, and Sinclair Lewis.
Yeager, Jeffrey Wayne, "Prescribing the Profession: Representations of Medical Professionalization Debates in American Literary Forms, 1830-1940" (2020). Graduate Theses, Dissertations, and Problem Reports. 7605.