Friday, November 20, 2009
The history department congratulates assistant professor Sam Thomas on his new article, "Early Modern Midwifery: Splitting the Profession, Connecting the History," published in the Journal of Social History 43, No. 1 (2009): 115-38.
In this article, Sam analyzes documents from church courts to demonstrate that in early modern England a midwife's social status was key to her success as a medical practitioner. The wealthier a woman was, the better she could do the work of a midwife. He also examines changing perceptions of midwifery, arguing that in the early 1700s men and women began to view midwifery as a science, and thus a field for men rather than women.
See here a document that Sam interprets, an affidavit claiming that a midwife is 'ordinarily addicted to Lyeing, sweareing, and cursing.'