Research Poster: Reproductive Agency and the Role of the Female Psyche in Soranus' Gynaecology

Research conducted under the auspices of the Laidlaw Program durning Summer 2020; mentored by Dr. Brook Holmes at Princeton University

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Link to PDF version of the poster

Link to Presentation Video as part of the Columbia Undergraduate Research Symposium 2020

Helen Ruger

Student, Columbia University

This summer under the auspices of the Laidlaw Scholars Program I will be researching Hippocratic works and other texts from ancient Greek medical discourse in order to ask questions around female agency and challenges to the female body. How are female bodies governed? How are bodies feminized in medical discourse? If one can consider a body as an object from which forces of political, social, and psychological agency or governance emerge, how does a body’s female identity confound this? I am interested in how material bodies are formed and gendered, how they are a site of biological or social domains. It is through medical writings and interrogating perceptions of the ancient Greek body that one may more clearly understand what elements of the human experience are valued.