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Literature of Prescription: Exhibit and Events

Information on and schedule of events associated with the NLM traveling exhibit The Literature of Prescription.

Literature of Prescription Speaker and Film Series


About the Speaker series:
This Speaker series was sponsored by the University of Florida Health Science Center Libraries, the Center for Humanities and the Public Sphere, National Network of Libraries of Medicine, Dr Pamela Gilbert and Dr. Paulette Hahn.

Light refreshments were served at most events. All were welcome to attend.

Past Events

June 9 Anne Stiles, PhD, “Literature and medicine:  Silas Weir Mitchell’s fiction.*”

12:00 PM - 1:00 PM

Location: Communicore Building, C1-7

Anne Stiles, PhD. Department of English, Saint Louis University.    Anne Stiles is Associate Professor of English and Director of Medical Humanities at Saint Louis University. She is the author of Popular Fiction and Brain Science in the Late Nineteenth Century (Cambridge UP, 2012) and the editor of Neurology and Literature, 1866-1920 (Palgrave, 2007)She also co-edited two volumes published by Elsevier in 2013 as part of their Progress in Brain Research series. Stiles serves as Victorian section co-editor of the Wiley-Blackwell journal, Literature Compass. 

 Sponsored by the Center for the Humanities and the Public Sphere with support from the Yavitz Fund*



July 1 Cynthia Davis, PhD, "More sick than well: Charlotte Perkins Gilman and Women's Health in Nineteenth-Century America."*

12:00 PM - 1:00 PM

Location: Communicore Building C1-7

Cynthia J. Davis, PhD. Department of English, University of South Carolina. Dr. Davis will speak on Charlotte Perkins Gilman. Cynthia J. Davis is a Professor of English and the Director of Graduate Studies at the University of South Carolina in Columbia. Her research and teaching is primarily focused on late-nineteenth-century U.S. literature and culture, although her publications in such journals as American Literature, American Literary History, and Arizona Quarterly range from the antebellum period to the Depression era. Her most recent book publication was a biography of Charlotte Perkins Gilman (Stanford University Press, 2010). She has also co-edited two essay collections on Gilman. She is currently writing a book on pain and U.S. literary realism.

**"This project has been funded in whole or in part with Federal funds from the National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health, Department of Health and Human Services, under Contract No. HHS-N-276-2011-00004-C with the University of Maryland Baltimore.”


July 6 Sandra Weems, PhD,  "Relieve the press of ideas and rest me": Reflective Writing and "The Yellow Wall-Paper"*

12:00- 1:00 PM

Location: Communicore Building C1-7

Sandra Weems, PhD, Adjunct Lecturer at University of Florida, whose work explores the uses of writing and narrative as healing modalities in clinical and other therapeutic settings. Her research interests include traumatology, poetry-therapy, and literature in medicine.  In 2010, she helped design and teach an interdisciplinary Narrative Medicine course for English graduate and medical students at UF.  Currently, she is revising her dissertation, The Poetics of Healing: Voicing Illness and Trauma in Literature, Reflective Writing and Narrative Medicine, into book form, and planning to edit an anthology of the writings of WHR Rivers, MD.

**"This project has been funded in whole or in part with Federal funds from the National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health, Department of Health and Human Services, under Contract No. HHS-N-276-2011-00004-C with the University of Maryland Baltimore" and with support from DrPamela Gilbert, Albert Brick Professor, Department of English, and Dr. Paulette Hahn.

July 8 Mallory Szymanski (PhD candidate, UF) - "Sex and the Rest Cure in Gilded Age America:  Re-imagining The Yellow Wallpaper." 

11:00 AM - 12:00 PM

Location: Communicore Building CG-041/42

 Mallory Szymanski is a PhD candidate in the Department of History at the University of Florida.  Her dissertation, Sexual dysfunction as 'the national disease of America:'  neurasthenia and the medical approaches to men's sexual and reproductive health, 1869-1914,  combines cultural and medical history of sexual neurasthenia to explain how this diagnosis sparked a new national conversation about men’s health in the Gilded Age.  She teaches courses in writing, sociology, history, and women’s studies.  She expects to complete her dissertation next year and to pursue an interdisciplinary teaching and research position.


July 23 Michael Blackie, PhD, “How understanding the rest cure helps promote the value of humanities in medical education.*”

12:00 PM - 1:00 PM

Location: Communicore Building, C1-9

Michael Blackie, PhD. Department of Family and Community Medicine, Northeast Ohio Medical University.  Michael Blackie is an Associate Professor of Family and Community Medicine at Northeast Ohio Medical University (NEOMED), where he co-directs the longitudinal course, Human Values in Medicine.  He received his doctorate in English from the University of Southern California, where he also taught Narrative Medicine electives at the Keck School of Medicine.  His scholarly and teaching interests include death and dying, health humanities, narrative medicine, narratology, and sexuality and difference.  He is the book review editor for the journal, Literature and Medicine, and editor of the Literature and Medicine book series published by Kent State University Press.

 Sponsored by the Center for the Humanities and the Public Sphere with support from the Yavitz Fund.*


The Literature of Prescription


The Health Science Center Library was pleased to host this exhibit from the National Library of Medicine from June 1- July 10 2015

In the late nineteenth century, at a time when women were challenging traditional ideas about gender that excluded them from political and intellectual life, medical and scientific experts drew on notions of female weakness to justify inequality between the sexes. Artist and writer Charlotte Perkins Gilman, who was discouraged from pursuing a career to preserve her health, rejected these ideas in a terrifying short story titled “The Yellow Wall-Paper.” The famous tale served as an indictment of the medical profession and the social conventions restricting women’s professional and creative opportunities.

National Library of Medicine exhibit site

This exhibition is brought to you by the National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health

Curated by Manon Parry

Library exhibit

Visit the Health Science Center Libraries to view the traveling exhibit and the materials from the Libraries' collections.

Nina S-R

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Nina Stoyan-Rosenzweig
(352) 273-8406
Subjects: Medicine

Recommended Reading

Davis, Cynthia.  Charlotte Perkins Gilman: A Biography. (2010)

DeSalvo, Louise. Writing as a Way of Healin: How Telling Our Stories Transforms Our Lives. (1999)

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