Editorial Introduction: Women and Medicine in American Literature and Culture


  • Ingrid Gessner University of Regensburg




Butler, gender, medical humanities, teaching, pedagogy, conference, symposium, health


The articles in this special issue of COPAS“ are the products of an advanced seminar on “Women and Medicine in American Literature and Culture” I taught at the universities of Regensburg and Bamberg during the winter semester 2014-2015. The interdisciplinary nature of the seminar was underscored by the collaboration of students from different disciplinary backgrounds on projects at the interface of medicine, health, and gender in American literature, film, and TV series. Together, students analyzed the representations of women in medical professions from historical, cultural, and literary points of view in ‘texts’ from the second half of the nineteenth century until today and presented their research results at a student symposium at the University of Bamberg on 12 February 2015.

Author Biography

Ingrid Gessner, University of Regensburg

Ingrid Gessner is Assistant Professor of American Studies at the University of Regensburg, Germany, where she works on a project on biopolitics in American transnational cultures. She has been a Visiting Professor of American Studies at the University of Erlangen-Nuremberg in 2016. Her studies have also led her to the University of California, Davis, and the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor. She received her doctorate from the University of Regensburg, and her master’s degree from Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz, Germany. Her Habilitation “and most recent book Yellow Fever Years: An Epidemiology of Nineteenth-Century Literature and Culture“ (2016) has been awarded the Peter Lang Young Scholars Award. She is the author of Collective Memory as Catharsis? The Vietnam Veterans Memorial in Public Controversy “(2000) and of the award-winning From Sites of Memory to Cybersights: (Re)Framing Japanese American Experiences“ (2007). She co-edited special issues on Iconographies of the Calamitous in American Visual Culture“ (2013) and on Commemorating World War II at 70: Ethnic and Transnational Perspectives“ (2015). Further publications include articles on 9/11, gender studies, eco-photography, and on questions of transnationalism. She has served as assistant editor of Amerikastudien/American Studies“ and as editor of the e-journal COPAS “(Current Objectives of Postgraduate American Studies“) and is a founding member of the Digital American Studies Initiative (DASI) within the German Association for American Studies. Since 2014 she is an elected member of the EAAS Women’s network steering committee and has organized two of the network’s biannual conferences in Lublin, Poland, and Lausanne, Switzerland.




How to Cite

Gessner, Ingrid. “Editorial Introduction: Women and Medicine in American Literature and Culture”. Current Objectives of Postgraduate American Studies, vol. 17, no. 2, May 2017, doi:10.5283/copas.284.

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