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Edelman publishes paper on Gothic medicine

Diana Edelman
Dr. Diana Edelman stands in her office holding an edition of the Gothic Studies Journal, where her article "Gothic Medicine: Murderous Midwives and Homicidal Obstetricians" has recently been published.

While researching her favorite novel, "Frankenstein," Dr. Diana Edelman realized while science was an important part of the novel's context and critical history, few people were writing about obstetrical medicine and embryology.

"There were many studies about motherhood as a concept, but nothing that broke down the sciences related to reproduction," the associate professor of English at the University of North Georgia (UNG) said. "I began researching obstetrics and embryology and applying them to other novels. As I learned the history of medicine, it began to sound like a Gothic novel itself — male physicians hunting down female bodies in the name of science."

This realization lit a spark within Edelman, pushing her to pursue a deeper understanding of what people believed about fetal formation and development in the 18th and 19th centuries and to write an article on the subject.

"I visited several archives in the United Kingdom, London and Glasgow specifically, to read unpublished obstetrical manuals to research the topic," Edelman said, explaining a Presidential Summer Scholar Award she received in 2015 afforded her the travel funds.

Edelman's article titled "Gothic Medicine: Murderous Midwives and Homicidal Obstetricians" has recently been published in Gothic Studies, a journal of the International Gothic Association.

"Writing and publishing academic work can be difficult, but it’s highly gratifying and really invigorates my teaching as I get to mentor students who are just beginning this process," Edelman said.

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