Research Proposal

Research Proposal:

One way to describe the respective roles of medical personnel is to say that while the doctor is the head the nurses are the hands.  Too often the practice of hospital care, so to then as is often the case today, is seen as the domain of the physicians.  However, this paints only a quarter of the picture.  To have, at least, a full half of the picture, we must take into careful consideration the role of nursing in the administration of patient care.  To this end, I propose to research what nursing was like in asylums in the nineteenth century and view the experience and analysis through the lens and life of Dorothea Dix.





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Field, Peter S. “Less than Meets the Eye: The Strange Career of Dorothea Dix; Review of

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History 27, no. 3 (Sep., 1999): 389-396.

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Gollaher, David L. Voice for the Mad: The Life of Dorothea Dix. New York: Free Press, 1995.


Laird, S. Louise. “Nursing of the Insane.” The American Journal of Nursing 2, no. 3

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McCandless, Peter. “Institutional Solutions?; Review of Voice for the Mad: The Life of

Dorothea Dix, by David L. Gollaher; Feeble-Minded in Our Midst: Institutions for the

Mentally Retarded in the South, 1900-1940,” by Steven Noll. Reviews in American

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Reiss, Benjamin. Theaters of Madness: Insane Asylums and Nineteenth-Century American

Culture. Chicago, Ill: University of Chicago Press, 2008.


Schultz, Jane E. “The Inhospitable Hospital: Gender and Professionalism in Civil War

Medicine.” Signs 17, no. 2 (Winter, 1992): 363-392.

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Shryock, Richard H. “A Medical Perspective on the Civil War.” American Quarterly 14, no. 2

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Trattner, Walter I. “The Federal Government and Needy Citizens in Nineteenth-Century

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