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  • Authority in the Halls of Science: Women of the Wards

    Nicole Elizabeth Barnes

    Chapter from the book: Barnes, N. 2018. Intimate Communities: Wartime Healthcare and the Birth of Modern China, 1937–1945.


    Women’s labor and foreign charitable donations enabled civilian and military health services to expand during a period previously believed to be an era of stagnation. This work accelerated China’s indigenization of scientific medicine, which, in turn, granted women greater access to medical education and work outside the home. Female medical professionals articulated their work in the seemingly contradictory terms of self-empowerment and strengthening the race and nation. The confluence of war with the “sick woman” discourse produced an opportunity for women—in repairing the war-torn nation—to develop a new understanding of womanhood that contested women’s presumed inferiority. Many women seized the chance to craft the nation and their role therein anew, but women who exercised professional authority encountered significant constraints.

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    How to cite this chapter
    Barnes, N. 2018. Authority in the Halls of Science: Women of the Wards. In: Barnes, N, Intimate Communities. California: University of California Press. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1525/luminos.59.e

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    Published on Oct. 23, 2018


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