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Products for grant FEL-267498-20

A Rhetorical History of Women Shaping the Trajectory of Fertility Science, 1870-1970
Robin Jensen, University of Utah

Grant details:

Re-envisioning the reproductive body in fertility science: From invasive gynecology to a ‘conservative surgery’ hermeneutic. (Conference Paper/Presentation)
Title: Re-envisioning the reproductive body in fertility science: From invasive gynecology to a ‘conservative surgery’ hermeneutic.
Author: Robin E. Jensen
Abstract: This essay explores the discursive means by which ingrained trajectories of medical knowledge and practice have been re-envisioned and recalibrated in U.S. history. It takes for its case study the development of the field of fertility science and medicine, which is an outgrowth of Dr. J. Marion Sims’s notorious, nineteenth-century gynecological tradition of invasive and injurious surgeries targeting the female body. More specifically, this essay offers a critical-comparative analysis of Sims’s mid-to-late-nineteenth-century medical publications and Dr. Sophia Kleegman’s mid-twentieth-century medical publications to highlight the differing pedagogies of sight at work therein. The analysis reveals that—in contrast to the objectivist, myopic, and exclusively female-focused visual pedagogy that Sims articulated—Kleegman’s pedagogy provided disciplinary readers with a distinct, “conservative surgery” hermeneutic for scientific study and treatment that illuminated new diagnostic heuristics related to the proximity of pain, the scale of efficiency, and the boundaries of corporality and expertise. In this way, Kleegman’s articles instantiated an alternative disciplinary optics that balanced past ways of seeing with emergent, ethically calibrated modes of clinical judgement. Ultimately, this technical intervention into medical vision facilitated the realization of increasingly humane and effective practices across reproductive medicine and fertility science beginning in the mid-to-late-twentieth century.
Date: 05/25/2021
Conference Name: International Communication Association

Humanities Radio: Dr. Sophia Kleegman (Film/TV/Video Broadcast or Recording)
Title: Humanities Radio: Dr. Sophia Kleegman
Writer: Robin E. Jensen
Director: Jana Cunningham
Producer: University of Utah College of Humanities
Abstract: In celebration of Women’s History Month, Robin Jensen, professor of communication, discusses her research on Sophia Kleegman. Relatively unknown, Kleegman was the first woman appointed to the New York University College of Medicine faculty of obstetrics and gynecology in 1929 and was a pioneer in fertility medicine. Her patient-centric approach and controversial views helped change the way the medical community approached reproductive health.
Year: 2021
Primary URL:
Access Model: Open Access
Format: Digital File
Format: Web