Published July 2014
About the Chapter:
Whitney Wood, ‘”When I think of what is before me, I feel afraid”: Narratives of Fear, Pain and Childbirth in Victorian Canada’, in Rob Boddice (ed.), Pain and Emotion in Modern History (Palgrave Macmillan, 2014), pp. 187-203.
This study of English-Canadian women’s private narratives of fear, pain and childbirth contributes to the still-embryonic historiography on emotion and pain by exploring one specific contextual example of the ambiguous relationship between the two.
About the Book:
Pain and Emotion in Modern History is a rich exploration of the affective expression of pain, the emotional experience of pain, and the experience of others’ pain as pain. Drawing on the expertise of historical, literary and philosophical scholarship, practising physicians, the medical humanities, and conceptual artists, this is a true interdisciplinary collaboration, styled as a history. It explores pain at the intersection of the living, suffering body, and the discursive cultural webs that entangle it in its specific moment. This volume goes beyond the typical spaces and parameters of pain, from the operating theatre to the waiting room; from the moment of birth to its anticipation and aftermath; from the body in pain to the body in a culture of pain. Most importantly, it moves from the narrowly physical to the broadly emotional, enabling the enrichment of the medical history of pain, as well as setting a new agenda for medical history.