Fetal Death and the Male Midwife in Nineteenth-Century Boston: 12/14 WGS Seminar at MHS

Katy Morris's picture

"The Kind of Death, Natural or Violent": Fetal Death and the Male Midwife in Nineteenth-Century Boston

Author: Hannah Smith, University of Minnesota
Comment: Nora Doyle, Salem College

Tuesday, 16 December
5:15 PM

Free, Virtual Event - hosted by the Massachusetts Historical Society


This dissertation chapter examines a lecture by Boston man-midwife Walter Channing. The lecture is meant to offer his (male) midwifery students the skills to serve as expert witnesses in infanticide trials. However, Channing also uses the lecture to promote his opinions of both infanticide and intentional abortion. This chapter focuses on the language Channing uses to frame these acts, as well as the nature of the lecture itself as a form of communication, in order to establish how this lecture fits within the broader discussions around infanticide, abortion, and man-midwifery taking place in the Anglo-Atlantic world at this time.  

The History of Women, Gender, & Sexuality Seminar invites you to join the conversation on Tuesday 14 December at 5:15 PM. The seminar brings together a diverse group of scholars and interested members of the public to workshop pre-circulated papers. After brief remarks from the authors and an assigned commentator, the discussion is opened to the floor. All are encouraged to ask questions, provide feedback on the circulated essays, and discuss the topic at hand. Our sessions are free and open to everyone. 

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