322 pp., 6.125 x 9.25, 12 halftones, 6 tables, notes, bibl., index
Paperback ISBN: 978-1-4696-2940-7
Published: November 2016
Hardcover ISBN: 978-1-4696-2939-1
Published: November 2016
eBook ISBN: 978-1-4696-2941-4
Published: October 2016
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Awards & distinctions
Finalist, Wallace K. Ferguson Prize, Canadian Historical Association
The story encompasses networks of people in all parts of society, from state and medical authorities to mothers and midwives, husbands and lovers, employers and neighbors. Jaffary focuses on key topics including virginity, conception, contraception and abortion, infanticide, “monstrous” births, and obstetrical medicine. Her approach yields surprising insights into the emergence of modernity in Mexico. Over the course of the nineteenth century, for example, expectations of idealized womanhood and female sexual virtue gained rather than lost importance. In addition, rather than being obliterated by European medical practice, features of pre-Columbian obstetrical knowledge, especially of abortifacients, circulated among the Mexican public throughout the period under study. Jaffary details how, across time, localized contexts shaped the changing history of reproduction, contraception, and maternity.
About the Author
Nora E. Jaffary is associate professor of history at Concordia University in Montreal.
For more information about Nora E. Jaffary, visit the Author Page.
"A truly remarkable--and timely--accomplishment. With grace, sensitivity, and even poetry, Nora E. Jaffary takes a comprehensive approach to the history of reproduction in Mexico. Straddling the colonial and independent eras, Jaffary shifts the lens beyond Mexico City and unearths in the archival records an elusive theme and well-hidden realities in Mexico's history. She adds a new dimension to medical history by demonstrating how sex, birth control, pregnancy, birth, and reproductive abnormalities have been subject to shifting understandings over a century and a half of Mexican history."--Heather McCrea, Kansas State University
"In Nora E. Jaffary's unique book, the history of reproduction in Mexico is finally given the attention it deserves. More than a history of medicine, Reproduction and Its Discontents in Mexico looks at the connections between the private aspects of female lives and their connections to the public sphere. It is a significant contribution not only to Mexican and Latin American history but also to medical history and the history of reproduction and female reproductive health. Rich and nuanced in analysis and such a pleasure to read."--Sonya Lipsett-Rivera, Carleton University