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Grant number like: FT-254970-17

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Gesa E. Kirsch
Bentley University (Waltham, MA 02452-4713)

Summer Stipends
Research Programs

[Grant products]

$6,000 (approved)
$6,000 (awarded)

Grant period:
6/1/2017 – 7/31/2017

Legacies of Thought and Action: The Professional Networks of 19th-century Women Physicians

Research and writing of a book on the professional networks and intellectual leadership of women physicians in the late 19th century.

This book investigates the rhetorical strategies, professional networks, and intellectual leadership of a group of late 19th century American women physicians. Drawing on several case studies and the rarely examined Woman’s Medical Journal, I argue that we can better understand the rhetorical practices and professional performances of early women physicians by attending to how they shared resources, knowledge and ideas, using both formal and informal ways to educate and mentor one another. This project illuminates the scope, range, and contours of professional networks that enabled women to collaborate, communicate across generations and geographical boundaries, and advocate for social change. This research has important implications for today: it highlights the powerful impact of professional networks for women and other underrepresented groups, whether they work in the medical professions, STEM fields, the social sciences or humanistic fields.