What IFF?

CofC Women's and Gender Studies Program

At What IFF, we are dedicated to sparking discussion about making change in our campus community and beyond by centering intersectional feminist thought and uplifting members of our community who are actively moving toward justice, and inspiring those of us who want to learn more.

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Society & CultureSociety & Culture


S3, Ep 1: The History of Chronic Pain, the Wandering Womb, and Hysteria with Dr. Sandy Slater
Mar 15 2024
S3, Ep 1: The History of Chronic Pain, the Wandering Womb, and Hysteria with Dr. Sandy Slater
We are kicking off this season of WHAT IFF by sitting down with Dr. Sandra Slater, a professor at the College of Charleston who received her PhD in history at the University of Kentucky after receiving a graduate certificate in gender and women's history.  In our hilarious, vibrant, and eye-opening conversation with Dr. Slater, we learn about the history of marginalized bodies, medicalized racism, and the mosaic of chronic pain experiences through an intersectional lens. Dr. Slater illustrates how narratives of the "wandering womb" dominated medical discourse and uterine fascination held sway, and how these norms connect cis-womens bodies to the broader canvas of history. We highlight how pain has always been gendered by digging into the roots of the term hysteria. In present day clinical encounters, we discuss how gender expression impacts how patients are treated, sharing first hand accounts from ciswomen from the podcast, The Sick Gaze.Further Resources:Two great books that explain some of these issues are:- Unwell Women by Elinor Cleghorn- Pain and Prejudice by Gabrielle JacksonFilms:- Aftershock - a film that demonstrates the dangers for black pregnant people in our medical birthing systems - https://www.aftershockdocumentary.com/- The CDC Hear Her Campaign - https://www.cdc.gov/hearher/index.htmlThank you to Dr. Slater, Alyssa Nickles, Sarah Klotzbach, and Diane Carroll for making this episode possible !Hosts: Emily Currey and Molly DickersonProduction: Molly Dickerson