Representing Argentinian Mothers. Medicine, Ideas and Culture in the Modern Era, 1900-1946. Eraso, Yolanda

Amsterdam/New York, NY, 2013, XV, 293 pp.

Clio Medica: Perspectives in Medical Humanities

Motherhood holds a special place in Argentinian culture. Representing Argentinian Mothers examines the historical intersections of medicine and culture that have underpinned the representations of motherhood during the first half of the twentieth century. From the emergence of a medicalised maternal figure at the beginning of the century to the appearance of a new, politicised mother-figure by the time of Eva Perón, the contentious representations of motherhood constitute a privileged viewpoint to explore the tensions and conflicts underlying the country’s modernisation process. At the core of the analysis is an evaluation of the way in which medical representations of motherhood have been implicated, confirmed or contested in other significant areas of the social and cultural fields.
Through detailed examination of a rich selection of sources including medical texts, newspapers, novels, photojournalism, and paintings, Representing Argentinian Mothers adopts an interdisciplinary approach and an innovative framework based on categories and notions drawn from the History of Ideas and Cultural History. By enquiring about the influence of medicine in the field of ideas, beliefs and images, Yolanda Eraso elaborates new insights to understand their interaction, which will appeal to anyone with an interest in the Medical Humanities.

List of Illustrations
The Medical Record
Mothers and the First Medical Concerns
Towards a Taxonomy of Maternal Bodies: Biotypology, Eugenics and Argentine Nationalism (1930-1946)
The Textual Record
The Catholic Press and the Strategic Uses of the Marian Cult
The Liberal Press and the Political Uses of the Maternal
Fictionalised Mothers: Absence, Fear, and Rebellion in Literary Representations
The Visual Record
Photojournalism and the Question of Maternal Visualisation before the Technologies of Visualisation
The Subjectivity of the Mother According to the Artistic Gaze
Sources and Select Bibliography

Yolanda Eraso is Associate Lecturer, Faculty of Health and Life Sciences, Oxford Brookes University. She has published on various aspects of the social history of medicine and on contemporary issues in health policy.

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