“Epistemological Anxiety” examines the eighteenth-century legal and medical case studies written about Michel-Anne Drouart, a supposed “hermaphrodite, " a term that was used for all bodies that did not fit within the gender binary. In the context of the Enlightenment’s empirical endeavor to elucidate all mysteries of the natural world, scientists carefully examined, measured, and recorded the details of Drouart’s sexually ambiguous body. Yet the hermaphroditic body thwarted scientific efforts to elucidate its workings and resulted in a sense of epistemological anxiety that emerged from profound shifts in eighteenth-century structures of knowledge.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationBodies in Transition in the Health Humanities
Subtitle of host publicationRepresentations of Corporeality
EditorsLisa M DeTora, Stephanie M Hilger
Number of pages13
ISBN (Electronic)9781351128742
ISBN (Print)9781032091402, 9780815356066
StatePublished - 2019

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Social Sciences
  • General Medicine


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