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Fabien Provost

In contemporary forensic medicine, in India, the label of complete autopsy applies to a whole range of post-mortem examinations which can present consid- erable differences in view of the intellectual resources, time, personnel and material means they involve. From various sources available in India and elsewhere, stems the idea that, whatever the type of case and its apparent obviousness, a complete autopsy implies opening the abdomen, the thorax and the skull and dissecting the organs they contain. Since the nineteenth century, procedural approaches of complete autopsies have competed with a practical sense of completeness which requires doctors to think their cases according to their history. Relying on two case studies observed in the frame of an ethnographic study of eleven months in medical colleges of North India, the article suggests that the practical completeness of autopsies is attained when all aspects of the history of the case are made sense of with regard to the observation of the body. Whereas certain autopsies are considered obvious and imply a reduced amount of time in the autopsy room, certain others imply successive redefinitions of what complete implies and the realisation of certain actions which would not have been performed otherwise.

Human Remains and Violence: An Interdisciplinary Journal
Sibling Rivalry in Elizabeth Gaskell‘s The Old Nurse‘s Story
David Galef

Elizabeth Gaskell s The Old Nurse s Story (1852) occupies a shadowy middle ground between Gothic tale and case history. Concerning sibling rivalry and parental abuse recollected from the vantage of old age, it is both a ghost story and a narrative of maternal absence, paternal domination, transference, and the return of the repressed. Using both psychoanalysis and Gothic genre criticism, this essay traces, in miniature, the Victorian movement from spirits to sexual psychology.

Gothic Studies
Angelica Michelis

This article engages with the discourse of food and eating especially as related to the representation of the abject eating-disordered body. I will be particularly interested in the gothic representation of the anorexic and bulimic body in samples of medical advice literature and NHS websites and how they reinforce popular myths about anorexia by imagining the eating disordered body as a fixed object of abjection. Focusing on the use of gothic devices, tropes and narrative structure, these imaginations will be read against alternative representations of anorexic/bulimic bodies in autobiographical illness narratives, fictional accounts and a psychoanalytical case history in order to explore how gothic discourses can help opening up new understandings and conceptions of illness, healing and corporeality in the dialogue between medical staff and patients.

Gothic Studies
Abstract only
Geertje Mak

related to individuals and more in particular to their sense of self ? I decided to turn to narratives of hermaphrodites: nineteenth-century medical case histories reporting on people whose physical sex had raised doubts during their lifetime.2 There, I supposed, I would find out how the relationship between physical sex and self was conceived of, for in these cases of doubtful bodily sex the seemingly self-evident category of sex was under pressure. What happened if the physical sex of a person was questioned? What was the role of the hermaphrodite her- or himself

in Doubting sex
Geertje Mak

2 EARLY SEX REASSIGNMENTS AND THE ABSENCE OF A SEX OF SELF self, subject and identity In the previous chapter, I tried to determine the rationale behind the category of sex in view of the fact that it was apparently not self-evident that a doctor should examine the body if someone’s physical sex was in doubt. As the case histories show, after the initial sex assignment at birth, sex became so intricately interwoven into the social, moral and legal fabric, that doubts about an individual’s sex affected the entire community. Policies of containment therefore seem

in Doubting sex
Abstract only
Andrew Smith

discuss literary texts and scientific knowledge in culturally contextualised ways. The range of issues and case histories which I discuss help to develop our understanding of the constructions of masculinity during the period. Such constructions, although staged in different literary, quasi-scientific, or strictly medical contexts, are united by a shared concern that the middle-class male had become

in Victorian demons
Abstract only
Geertje Mak

will reveal how, in some physicians’ case histories clothing and DS_C08.indd 185 11/15/11 4:44 PM 186 doubting sex work started to transform from an outward index for someone’s place in society into a key to a deeply ingrained sex of self. The influence of the nascent discipline of sexology is evident here, and even more so in the fourth section, which demonstrates how sexual fantasies, inclinations and habits became the object of investigation, neatly separated from the gonadal body. Here, the first traces of the influence of psychoanalysis can also be

in Doubting sex
Abstract only
Geertje Mak

case histories reveals long periods of silence, secrecy, non-intervention and tolerance before a case of doubtful sex was disclosed to a physician. People with the reputation of being a hermaphrodite, bearded ladies, people publicly switching sex roles, women gossiped about because of their sexual intimacies with other women, people DS_D01.indd 225 11/15/11 4:45 PM 226 doubting sex who had raised doubts about their sex as fiancé(e)s or spouses – in many cases they were left alone, for years or even decades. Or, to be a little more precise: no local, legal or

in Doubting sex
Sex and mental illness
Will Jackson

’s case indubitably shows, the reality of social exclusion could contribute directly to psychological distress. 38 That Watson’s case history involved ‘social problems’ hardly rules out the possibility that she suffered genuine mental health problems yet doctors refused to treat her on the grounds not only of her psychopathy but her dishonesty as well, both of which were explained by reference to her

in Madness and marginality
Geertje Mak

, because they generally did not examine their bare bodies. It therefore turns out that almost all the extensively described medical case histories from this period were cases in which important legal matters were at stake: requests for sex reassignments, demands for the examination of sex before an intended marriage, or marriage annulments. Only a few cases were discovered at hospitals or after a request for an operation. Moreover, in a couple of other detailed case histories from this time, a hermaphrodite exhibited him- or herself to several doctors in exchange for

in Doubting sex