On this episode of the New Books Network, Dr. Lee Pierce
(she/they) interviews Dr. Amy Koerber
(she/hers), Professor at Texas Tech University, on the groundbreaking book From Hysteria to Hormones: A Rhetorical History
(Penn State University Press, 2018). Filled with fresh takes on classical rhetorical theories, From Hysteria
is an engaging exploration of the study of “women’s problems” (take the air quote seriously there). Dr. Koerber shows that the boundary between older, nonscientific ways of understanding women’s bodies and newer, scientific understandings is much murkier than we might expect. From womb to brain to hormones, the book links our contemporary understanding of women’s bodies to antiquated roots, illuminating the ways in which the words we use today to discuss female reproductive health aren’t nearly as scientifically accurate or socially progressive as believed.