A Few Thoughts on EVE: Danger, Desire, and Reproductive Control

Livia Arndal Woods // The possibility of divorcing reproduction from the maternal body fascinates and haunts the human imagination. The dangers of and desire for such separation – for ectogenesis – has been of particular interest in science fiction. Indeed, the oxforddictionaries.com definition of ectogenesis reads: “(chiefly in science fiction) the development of embryos in…

Back to Obstetrics: Beyond Normal and Problem Pregnancies

In the image that accompanies the title page of Aristotle’s Compleat and Experience’d Midwife (1700), the birthing chamber is depicted as a room full of lively, fleshed-out bodies, warm and inviting from the fireplace to the small animal sleeping in front of it. The baby is not pictured at all; the experienced midwives gather around…

Neonatal Jaundice in Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein

Cynthia Harris   To many readers, Frankenstein is best read as a “birth myth,” even as a “cautionary obstetric tale” that warns of the horrors of motherhood.[1] These interpretations have historically relied on seeing Victor Frankenstein as analogous to the pregnant and later post-partum mother, possibly even to Mary Shelley herself. In my Fall semester…