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From the Womb to the Body Politic: Raising the Nation in Enlightenment Russia (Paperback)
  • From the Womb to the Body Politic: Raising the Nation in Enlightenment Russia (Paperback)
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From the Womb to the Body Politic: Raising the Nation in Enlightenment Russia (Paperback)

(author)
£27.50
Paperback 242 Pages / Published: 30/04/2013
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In Russia during the second half of the eighteenth century, a public conversation emerged that altered perceptions of pregnancy, birth, and early childhood. Children began to be viewed as a national resource, and childbirth heralded new members of the body politic. The exclusively female world of mothers, midwives, and nannies came under the scrutiny of male physicians, state institutions, a host of zealous reformers, and even Empress Catherine the Great.

Making innovative use of obstetrical manuals, belles lettres, children's primers, and other primary documents from the era, Anna Kuxhausen draws together many discourses - medical, pedagogical, and political - to show the scope and audacity of new notions about childrearing. Reformers aimed to teach women to care for the bodies of pregnant mothers, infants, and children according to medical standards of the Enlightenment. Kuxhausen reveals both their optimism and their sometimes fatal blind spots in matters of implementation. In examining the implication of women in public, even political, roles as agents of state-building and the civilising process, From the Womb to the Body Politic offers a nuanced, expanded view of the Enlightenment in Russia and the ways in which Russians imagined their nation while constructing notions of childhood.

Publisher: University of Wisconsin Press
ISBN: 9780299289942
Number of pages: 242
Weight: 318 g
Dimensions: 229 x 152 x 15 mm


MEDIA REVIEWS
"Kuxhausen has provided a good guide to the rapid entry of Enlightenment discourses into Russian intellectual life . . . and she has done so with an overarching theme that reveals the mutually reinforcing effects and aspirations for national assertion of the Russian court."--"The Russian Review"

A pleasure to read and a long-awaited, welcome contribution to the fields of eighteenth-century studies, women s history, the history of education, and the history of medicine. Rebecca Friedman, author of Masculinity, Autocracy and the Russian University, 1804 1863"
Kuxhausen has provided a good guide to the rapid entry of Enlightenment discourses into Russian intellectual life . . . and she has done so with an overarching theme that reveals the mutually reinforcing effects and aspirations for national assertion of the Russian court. The Russian Review
"
A useful and valuable contribution to the history of women, childhood, and the Enlightenment in eighteenth-century Russia. Slavonic & East European Review
"
Discussions of the upbringing of children and its significance for Russian political and intellectual elites of the eighteenth century are the focus of Anna Kuxhausen s welcome analysis of ideas and practices of childrearing in Enlightenment-era Russia. . . . A very rich and well researched book. Journal of the History of Childhood and Youth"

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